I’m going to avoid disclosing my actual opinion on the Alex Smith trade and focus on what it means for the Oakland Raiders. In reality, although it is a big trade in the NFL, it should not change the goals of this offseason for the Raiders. While it may be true the Kansas City Chiefs will get an upgrade at quarterback, the Raiders can’t change their offseason goals because of one move.
Oakland needs to upgrade its defense and no matter who is under center for the Chiefs that should be the blueprint for the next three months. The biggest need is improving the pass rush which again should not be impacted by who the quarterback is for the opposition. The Raiders cannot panic by the moves of their divisional rivals and stay the course because it is not like Smith was lighting up the league before Jim Harbaugh came in as his coach.
In addition, Oakland won’t all of a sudden try to combat the trade by focusing on the offense because a great offense won’t do much to stop Smith. The Raiders’ offense is the least of their concerns and if anything bringing Smith into the division should only intensify their efforts to improve the defense. In fact, it may even put more pressure on the team to upgrade the pass rush with some veteran talent instead of putting all the pressure on a rookie.
Either way, the defense will be a priority this offseason and maybe the Chiefs’ acquisition of Smith makes that more urgent, but it shouldn’t dramatically alter the Raiders’ gameplan for this offseason.