Raiders' top-3 trade candidates floated by Bleacher Report

Which current Raiders could be traded before the season?
Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
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Michael Mayer

The last and most controversial entry on the list is tight end Michael Mayer. Knox floated the idea that he might not work with Brock Bowers and the Raiders could trade him while he still has value.

"There's no guarantee that Getsy will use that approach, though," Knox wrote. "He had one star tight end in Cole Kmet with the Chicago Bears last season, and Kmet led the position group with 90 targets and 73 receptions. Robert Tonyan was second with just 17 targets and 11 catches. 

"Getsy could use a similar split in Las Vegas, especially with receivers Davante Adams, Jakobi Meters and Tre Tucker likely to limit the use of two-tight-end sets. If that's the case, recouping some of the Raiders' investment in Mayer could make sense. ... Las Vegas has another capable receiving tight end in Harrison Bryant, and Mayer's draft pedigree could generate quite a bit of interest on the trade market."

Trading Mayer would be a terrible idea, plain and simple. I understand that the Raiders are going to invest a lot in Bowers, but Luke Getsy utilized 12 personnel (two tight end sets) at the eight-highest rate in the league last season according to Sure, in last year’s offense, only Cole Kmet got targets for the Bears under Getsy, but that is only because the other tight end was Robert Tonyan, whose best days are behind him. With two young and capable tight ends on the roster, it stands to reason that Getsy will take advantage of this personnel and both Mayer and Bowers will be needed for the Raiders to succeed. Harrison Bryant is considered a “receiving tight end” by Bleacher Report yet he finished last season with only 13 catches. 

Bowers is also more than a tight end, and he projects to line up in a variety of spots, including both in the slot and out wide. This means that Mayer would be the tight end on plays where Adams and Jakobi are out wide and Bowers is in the slot. Simply put, the Raiders need Mayer on the team, especially because the backups behind him are incredibly undesirable. He may garner some interest from teams if they were to put him on the market, but once again, he is most valuable to the Raiders as a tight end, not a trade piece.