The Las Vegas Raiders have reloaded at wide receiver, giving quarterback Derek Carr a bevy of new weapons. For that reason, it’s fair to wonder if Zay Jones could become the odd man out in a crowded room.
General manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden picked up three new weapons last month. Henry Ruggs III, Bryan Edwards, and Lynn Bowden Jr will be joining the new-look unit. Aside from Jones, Hunter Renfrow and Tyrell Williams will be returning from the 2019 squad. The team also picked Nelson Agholor in free agency. That’s a total of four new key additions.
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Odd Man Out?
After spending 2017-2018 with the Buffalo Bills, the Raiders traded for Jones last year. Unfortunately, the wide receiver didn’t make an impact. He appeared in ten games and managed only 20 receptions and 147 receiving yards. To make matters worse, Jones did not see the end zone at all in 2019. The sudden change in scenery and having to get acclimated to Carr likely played a role. Regardless, Jones just wasn’t just able to get it going in 2019 and it seems like he might face an uphill battle to remain on the team given the influx of talent.
The 2018 season might give the Raiders reason to think Jones could be worth keeping around. That year, he notched 56 receptions, 33 of them for first downs. Jones added seven touchdowns in that campaign, a good indicator that when given an opportunity, he’ll deliver. In an interesting side note, Jones was recently seen preparing in the desert with other Raiders wide receivers, certainly a positive sign. However, there’s still a lot of time to show he’s a keeper between now and the beginning of the season, whenever that might be.
There are upsides to keeping Jones in a Raiders uniform. Unfortunately, the wide receiver group might simply be too crowded and he could get a fairer shot elsewhere in 2020.
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*Top Photo: Matt Patterson/Associated Press