Las Vegas Raiders

Is “Culture Fit” Just An Excuse To Bounce A Raiders Player?

Raider Nation has been in an uproar this week following an “insider” report by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. To be clear, Las Vegas Raiders fans need to understand that nowhere does it say that the team is looking to shop anyone. Rather, Fowler mentioned that Josh McDaniels and Dace Ziegler will be “aggressively tweaking the roster.” Well, isn’t that what every coach-general manager duo does every offseason? This isn’t exactly breaking news.

However, what really drew the ire of fans was the mention of Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow. Again, the Raiders haven’t said at any point that their offensive duo is up for trade. Instead, Fowler makes the distinction that teams will be “keeping an eye on them.” Waller, for his part, was reportedly part of a trade involving the Raiders and the Green Bay Packers. Even so, nothing came of it. Would they try their best to nab Waller this offseason? Acquiring No. 83 might entice Aaron Rodgers to give it another go in 2023.

As for Renfrow, the normally reliable Pro Bowl slot receiver wasn’t himself in 2022. Injuries didn’t help; in fact, they greatly hindered. He had a few big moments here and there, but you have to wonder how much he fits into the Raiders’ long-term plans. That’s especially true with Derek Carr now on his way out, barring a miracle.

What is the Raiders’ “culture” these days?

That’s the question many in Raider Nation are pondering. The “Patriot Way” doesn’t exactly resonate with Raiders fans, for obvious reasons. What’s confusing about all of this is why the Raiders’ brain trust would move on from two players (Waller and Renfrow) after making long-term commitments. What is it about them that doesn’t make them “culture fits” after just one season? We’ve yet to hear about either player being a nuisance or immature. If anything, both Waller and Renfrow (like Carr) have lived through the chaos that is the Raiders. That’s who you’re trying to get rid of (supposedly)?

Then again, if the leader of the team, Carr, isn’t “fit,” is any player safe? Obviously, both McDaniels and Ziegler (and we can assume owner Mark Davis) know what this current vision looks like. As far as Fowler’s report goes, it’s difficult to gauge how much stock fans should put into it. It’s possible that both Waller and Renfrow will be back in 2023, and we will all look back and laugh at this report. At the same time, this power duo is about to move on from the best thing that’s happened to the Raiders in 20 years. You be the judge on what “culture” means these days.

*Top Photo: Chris Unger/Getty Images

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