“Antonio Brown has been traded to the Oakland Raiders.” Those few words reverberated throughout the sports world and spread like wildfire amongst social media when the transaction was officially made on March 10th.
In general, all were stunned that general manager Mike Mayock pulled off a trade heist for the best wide receiver in the NFL. Oakland’s roster, devoid of playmakers, was given a direct injection of elite talent on offense. Or, so we thought. As things seem to go in the Nation, nice things fRelated: Raiders Rookie Jacobs Can Be The KO Shot In Arrowheador the Raiders are not meant to be for whatever reason.
Reality hit Oakland’s roster faster than Antonio Brown could say he was freed on YouTube. The Raiders were left with a very unproven group at the position.
Tyrell Williams, their main receiving threat, has not exactly lived up to those lofty expectations as he has only amassed a 100-yard in one game, which happened to be the first game of the season against the Broncos. Furthermore, he has not scored multiple receiving touchdowns in any games this year. His last touchdown was in the loss against the Texans. Another critical issue is his hands, or the lack thereof. Against the Jets, Williams dropped three passes and one of those could’ve led to a touchdown for the Raiders. Another one ricocheted off his hands and went for six points in the other direction for New York. His dropping ability has become more prevalent than his receiving ability this year.
Something to keep in mind is that Williams has been battling with an injured foot (plantar fasciitis) that did cause him to miss two games. The point still stands; the veteran is not a player, at this point, that can relied on to be the focal point in the passing game. If Oakland felt buyer’s remorse from his 4-year $44 million contract, they could drop him this upcoming offseason with no dead cap space and catch a cheaper option in the draft or free agency.
On Sunday, the Raiders didn’t just lose to the Jets; they also lost their best wide receiver in Hunter Renfrow. Many in Raider Nation did not presume to believe that the rookie’s name would be the most consistent one heard on Sundays. Simply put, he has moved the chains for the Raiders on third down. He had 13 first down receptions and two touchdowns on third down alone. Safe to say, he’s been the steadfast option for Oakland at wide receiver. Unfortunately, he is out for the foreseeable future with a rib injury. Renfrow’s a true warrior that played with a broken rib and then suffered a punctured lung. Quarterback Derek Carr will miss him and hope he has a safe and timely recovery.
The remaining cast at the position is underwhelming to say the least. Zay Jones is still learning the flow in Jon Gruden’s offense along with Hard Knocks star rookie Keelan Doss. Marcell Ateman has been bounced from the practice squad to the active roster faster than Ryan Grant joining the Packers. Trevor Davis and Dwayne Harris (Injured Reserve) are predominately special team players. Rico Gafford has been called up from the practice squad to see if he is the deep threat this group desperately needs, but heading into the offseason, there is hope.
The Raiders have the salary cap, and more importantly, the draft picks to address the position this upcoming offseason. So even though this group receivers is less than optimal, the revolving door might finally stop next year.
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