Oakland Raiders center Rodney Hudson has been one of the best at his position in the league and one of the brightest spots for the whole team. That shouldn’t deter other teams from trying to trade for him as his price tag might not be as steep as one would think.
All-Pro linemen are unlikely to hit the free agent market and are rarely traded, but Hudson could be the exception to the rule as there are many factors working against him staying in Oakland.
First, head coach Jon Gruden traded All-Pro defensive end Khalil Mack, the Raiders best defensive player since he was drafted in 2014, for a couple of first-round picks and a third-round selection while having to ship both Mack and a second rounder in 2019. Putting aside what Mack wanted Oakland to pay him, Gruden said even with Mack, the Raiders defense wasn’t very good in 2018.
Pro Football Focus graded Rodney Hudson as the top center in 2019 and in spite of that, Raiders quarterback Dereck Carr was sacked 51 times, more than 2016 and 17′ combined and the most in his tenure with the team. It wouldn’t be hard to argue that even with Hudson, the Raiders pass protection wasn’t good and that it wouldn’t be any worse without Hudson playing center.
Moreover, Gruden seems to be on a mission to undo everything Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie, who signed Hudson in 2015, did before he was let go last December. There is nothing stopping Gruden from shipping a player that wasn’t signed by him and could be turned into draft currency.
Finally, we don’t know how happy Hudson is at this moment. It is uncertain how much he would embrace a change of scenery and how strong his ties are to the city of Oakland. If it is an indication, former Raiders linebacker Bruce Irvin doesn’t seem too worried about not playing for the Raiders anymore and Mack is doing pretty good himself.
Hudson might follow his former teammates’ footsteps and end up playing for another team. After all, that price may not be too restrictive.