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Raiders don’t make any deals before NFL trade deadline

Updated November 2, 2022 - 7:43 pm

SARASOTA, Fla. — The Raiders made and took calls before Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline, but ultimately didn’t consummate any deals to provide immediate help or collect future assets.

As a result, they will play the remaining 10 games with essentially the same team they broke training camp with and one that has produced a 2-5 record.

The hope is that standout cornerback Nate Hobbs will return from the broken hand he suffered against the Chiefs on Oct. 10 and provide a much-needed lift in the secondary, and that the current roster will play better and with more consistency.

“Consistency is going to be what we’re going to try to push for,” coach Josh McDaniels said. “If we can do that and start playing our best football and start stringing together some wins, you look up at the end of the year and a lot of things can happen. Certainly, that’s our goal. Our goals are still out there. We’re going to need to play better, coach better, to earn them.”

Hobbs has missed two games after being placed on injured reserve and must sit out two more before he’s eligible to return to the active roster.

The Raiders also hope to get tight end Darren Waller back from a hamstring injury that has sidelined him for basically the past three games. He practiced on a limited basis last week but was ruled out of Sunday’s game at New Orleans after testing the hamstring during a pregame workout.

Starting linebacker Jayon Brown also has missed three games with a hamstring issue.

“We’re trying to make a smart decision. Those things can be a little tricky,” McDaniels said. “We have a handful of guys that are dealing with soft tissue issues. If you push them back too early, we’ve all seen what can happen, and then all of a sudden you’re missing another month. So we just err on the side of caution as best we can and try to make sure that the players are healthy and ready for the load that we would like them to play in the game.”

Hobbs and Waller are capable of being difference makers, but it will take much more than their return to get the Raiders on track.

Of immediate concern is getting more of a pass rush from the defensive front, and that means someone other than Maxx Crosby pitching in. The Raiders have just nine sacks this season — six from Crosby — and have yet to affect opposing quarterbacks in any meaningful way.

Much of the problem falls on the shoulders of Chandler Jones, a big-ticket free-agent acquisition who was expected to team with Crosby to create one of the league’s most feared pass-rush duos.

But that hasn’t materialized. Jones has played in all seven games and has just 15 tackles, one-half sack and nine quarterback hits, a shell of the player who entered the season with 107.5 sacks and 33 forced fumbles in his first 10 seasons.

The issue is two-fold.

Jones’ dismal play has left the Raiders vulnerable on the back end and the middle of the field in pass coverage. Just as important, his hefty contract — a total of $32 million guaranteed in 2022 and 2023 and an $8.5 million roster bonus in March — makes adding more edge pass-rush help difficult.

Between now and next season, the Raiders are slated to spend about $70 million at defensive end. And next season alone, they will pay Crosby and Jones just over $39 million in guaranteed money.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on Twitter.

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