The Las Vegas Raiders thought they had acquired a difference-maker when they signed defensive end Carl Nassib last offseason. Instead, they paid for a player that failed to have an impact on the field. What if the Silver and Black cut their losses? Should they pull the plug on him and trade him?
Why would the Raiders move on from Carl Nassib?
Chad Forbes of NFL Draft Bites recently suggested a trade involving the Raiders and the Atlanta Falcons. Las Vegas would send Nassib and a draft selection to ‘A-Town’ and would get defensive end Dante Fowler in return. Forbes doesn’t specify which pick the Raiders would part ways with but a fourth-rounder sounds like fair compensation. Keep in mind that this isn’t a report, just a trade idea.
The third overall pick in 2015’s draft, Fowler has had an uneven six-year career. He tore his ACL in training camp and missed his rookie campaign. As a sophomore, he logged 32 total tackles (six for a loss), and four sacks. His sacks total went up in his third season but the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team that drafted him, traded him to Los Angeles Rams in 2018. He had a career year in 2019, registering 11.5 quarterback takedowns, 58 total tackles (16 for a loss), and two forced fumbles. He signed with the Falcons last season and register a career-low three sacks.
On the other hand, Fowler would be an upgrade over Nassib even though he didn’t have his best year in 2020. The latter was a non-factor last season, playing in just 42 percent of the Raiders’ total snaps on defense and amassing 28 total tackles (five for a loss), 2.5 sacks, and one interception. That kind of production would be good for a rotational player, not one that inked a three-year $25 million contract last offseason.
Would the trade make sense?
The Raiders have a new defensive coordinator in Gus Bradley, and Nassib could flourish in his system. Most of Las Vegas’s defensive players struggled under Paul Guenther, and a new scheme could be what the Penn State product needs. On the other hand, the team’s brass could accept it wasn’t a good signing and move on from him.
Trading or releasing Nassib this offseason would free up $250,000 in cap room with $9.25 million in dead money. Whether he stays or leaves, his salary would take up a big chunk of the Raiders’ cap space in 2021. The Raiders could trade for Fowler but it’s not a certainty he would improve the team’s pass rush. The team’s brass missed the mark on Nassib’s signing. They could part ways with him and take the ‘L’ or keep him and hope he turns into the player they thought they signed last offseason.
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Top Photo: Matt Aguirre/Las Vegas Raiders