Raiders Interested In Acquiring No. 1 Overall Pick; Antonio Pierce Addresses QB Search

Believed to be close to finalizing their plan at quarterback, the Bears are viewed as more likely to trade Justin Fields than part with the No. 1 overall pick. The team has a rare opportunity atop the draft, and Fields may not have shown enough for Chicago to pass on taking a passer at No. 1 once again.

Some Fields support has emerged in the building, and both Ryan Poles and Bears president Kevin Warren have praised the three-year starter. It is not exactly uncommon for a team to talk up a trade chip, but if the Bears are serious about keeping Fields and collecting a monster haul for No. 1 overall, Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal notes the Raiders are expected to be interested.

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The Bears are believed to be seeking a historic trade package in order to consider parting with the top pick, and the Caleb Williams-to-Chicago buzz may make any interest in No. 1 moot. But Chicago showed last year it is willing to deal; the Carolina package armed the Bears with draft assets through 2025 and No. 1 wide receiver D.J. Moore. The Raiders sitting at No. 13, four spots behind where the Panthers were in 2023, would undoubtedly make two future first-rounders and change mandatory in a move to No. 1.

Again, the Bears trading the top pick in consecutive years would be a daring move by Poles. The third-year GM passed on Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud; the Ohio State alum looks to be a potential franchise savior in Houston. Were he to pass on Williams in order to keep a quarterback Ryan Pace drafted, his job security would naturally be on shakier ground should the USC product become a franchise QB somewhere else.

If the Bears are still entertaining the prospect of a Fields-centric future, the Raiders make sense as a team ready to secure a long-term QB. They do not have a history of trade-ups for passers under Mark or Al Davis, though the latter made a well-documented run at John Elway in 1983. Holding the No. 1 pick after a 2-14 season, the Raiders chose JaMarcus Russell in 2007. They had been a veteran-dependent operation for a long time prior to that point, signing the likes of Rich Gannon, Jeff George and Jeff Hostetler in free agency (after the Todd Marinovich first-round selection bombed). Derek Carr represented a deviation for this franchise, arriving as a high draft choice (No. 36 overall) and lasting nine years. The Raiders did not trade up for Carr in 2014.

Post-Carr, the Raiders are still looking around. While Antonio Pierce said Aidan O’Connell will have a chance to compete to keep his job, the newly installed HC is not making a secret of his interest in acquiring a higher-upside quarterback.

The wild card is the quarterback. What are we going to do?” Pierce said during an appearance on The Pivot Podcast with Ryan Clark, Fred Taylor and Channing Crowder (via Bonsignore). “Well, we’ve got to put a plan together. There are always quarterbacks there are ways to get. Everybody has a price. There’s always a price. There’s always something that people are willing to do, like woo, ‘You’re giving me that, for this?’ You can create a little doubt there, a little like, interest, as far as if they want to make that move.

Pierce connections to Jayden Daniels, who was at Arizona State during the new Raiders HC’s time with the Sun Devils, have emerged. If the Bears are zeroing in on Williams, Daniels would be a more realistic goal. The Commanders and Patriots, respectively holding the Nos. 2 and 3 picks, also could benefit from quarterback upgrades via those draft slots. But neither team is viewed as a lock to take a QB there, opening the door for the Raiders — or the Giants, Falcons or Broncos perhaps — to move up if the right offer emerges.

GM Tom Telesco has enjoyed the good fortune of working in organizations that had this rather important box checked. The former Bill Polian lieutenant was with the Colts when they drafted Peyton Manning first overall 1998 and pulled the trigger on Justin Herbert as Chargers GM four years ago. Neither move required a trade-up. Telesco also ran the Chargers during Philip Rivers‘ final seven seasons at the helm. Leading a franchise with this less stable QB situation represents new territory for the Las Vegas GM, adding more intrigue to this Raiders upgrade effort.

If the Bears are committed to a quarterback at No. 1, the Raiders as a Fields destination will seemingly be one to monitor. Fields is going into his age-25 season and spent the past two years working with new Raiders OC Luke Getsy, who has praised the fourth-year QB’s makeup. This looks to be the more likely Raiders-Bears scenario, though other teams — most notably the Falcons — will be on the Fields radar.

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