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REPORT: All-Pro Pass Rusher Could Demand Trade If One Request Isn’t Met

Las Vegas Raiders edge defender Maxx Crosby says he could explore a trade if the team does not hire head coach Antonio Pierce.
Maxx Crosby

The Las Vegas Raiders have a huge decision to make at head coach, and the wrong choice could lead to Maxx Crosby leaving the team. After a 6-11 finish to the 2021 season, the Raiders brought back Josh McDaniels for another season. This was a mistake, as McDaniels went 3-5 over the first eight games of the season while losing the locker room. Deciding enough was enough, owner Mark Davis fired McDaniels and hired Antonio Pierce to be the interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

The former linebacker’s coach exceeded all expectations, going 5-4 the rest of the way to put the team in the hunt for a playoff spot. He did all this despite having a rookie fifth-round pick in Aidan O’Connell under center, and the team rallied around their head coach. While Vegas is currently looking for their next leader, star edge defender and Second-Team All-Pro Maxx Crosby believes the best answer is already in the building. During the latest episode of his podcast, Crosby said that he would explore a trade request if the Raiders hire anybody other than Pierce to be their next head coach.

Maxx Crosby Could Demand Trade If Antonio Pierce Isn’t Head Coach

Historically speaking, interim head coaches who get promoted to the full-time job do not work out. Since 2000, the only real success story is Jason Garrett with the Dallas Cowboys, and even then, Garrett was anything but a great coach. However, while history might not be on Pierce’s side, it’s still a relatively small list. Additionally, nobody has hired an interim head coach since Doug Marrone earned the honors back in 2016, so perhaps things will work out this time. The NFL’s landscape is constantly evolving, and today’s game has changed quite a bit since 2016. Perhaps Maxx Crosby is right and Antonio Pierce has what it takes to continue to build on the end of the 2022 season.

Additionally, if there’s any team willing to give an interim head coach a chance, it should be the Raiders. Back in 2021, the team replaced Jon Gruden with interim head coach Rich Bisaccia, who guided the team to an unlikely playoff birth. Following the season, players like Maxx Crosby vouched for Bisaccia and wanted him to earn the job. Instead, Davis decided to go with Josh McDaniels, and we all know how that went.

There is a good chance that the Raiders hire Antonio Pierce and Maxx Crosby will stick around for the long haul. However, if Vegas goes in another direction, every team in the league will try and trade for the star defensive lineman. The Raiders should be able to easily get two first-round picks for his services, and these teams are the ones most likely to make that trade.

Potential Trade Destinations

Houston Texans

It’s amazing how a good quarterback can fix a franchise. C.J. Stroud has already guided the Texans to the AFC Divisional Round, and the team is showing no signs of slowing down. Their Super Bowl window is starting to open, and trading for Maxx Crosby is a great way to maximize Stroud’s rookie contract. The team already has a good young edge rusher in Will Anderson, but pairing him with Crosby would give this team arguably the best pass-rushing duo in football next year. With over $74.8 million in cap space, Houston should be able to make this trade happen and give Crosby a bit of a raise to make him happy in his new home.

Detroit Lions

Much like the Texans, the Detroit Lions are in the midst of their Super Bowl window. After hitting on draft pick after draft pick and reviving the career of Jared Goff, this team has a real shot of going all the way in 2023. However, if they want to improve their odds in 2024, they’ll need to get someone like Maxx Crosby. Aidan Hutchinson is playing up to his draft capital, and combining him and Crosby should give opposing quarterbacks nightmares. Jordan Love looks like the real deal, and if the Lions want to keep winning their division, they’ll have to get a star player like Crosby to get after the quarterback.

Baltimore Ravens

The 2023 Baltimore Ravens have perhaps the best defense in football, but it’s an older unit with several impending free agents. Jadeveon Clowney and Justin Madubuike have combined for 23.5 sacks, and both players are set to test the open market. The Ravens will probably move heaven and Earth to keep Madubuike around, but they’ll need to find a way to replace Clowney’s production on the edge. While they could hope some of their younger players grow into starters, trading for Maxx Crosby would eliminate any worry surrounding the position.

New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints always build their team as if they’re one or two pieces away from winning the Super Bowl, and there’s no reason to expect that to change now. This team always finds ways to circumvent the salary cap, and 2023 will be no different. If they want Maxx Crosby, they’ll find a way to get him while making the money work, and they have every reason to want him. The team lost tons of talent along the defensive line last year, and rookies Bryan Bresee and Isaiah Foskey didn’t do much to inspire confidence in their first year of action. While it’s too early to give up on either of them, trading for Maxx Crosby would ensure New Orleans has a good pass rush. Dennis Allen will likely be fired if the Saints can’t make the playoffs in 2024, so he has every reason to go all-in on the upcoming season.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars collapsed down the stretch, in large part because this roster didn’t have the talent to carry an injured Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence was remarkably unlucky throughout the 2023 season, and he needs a stronger roster to help him out when he’s not at full strength. The offense wouldn’t have to carry so much of the team’s weight if Maxx Crosby joined the defense. Pairing him with Josh Allen should make for a ferocious pass rush, and that’s something this team desperately needs. When you share a division with a young star like C.J. Stroud, you need as many people getting after the quarterback as physically possible.

Main Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie – USA Today Sports


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