Raiders Notes: Is the team bringing in some help for Hunter Renfrow?

Have Raiders fans seen the last of Hunter Renfrow?

Improving during the offseason is the primary focus for franchises around the NFL. A productive draft last weekend helped the Las Vegas Raiders acquire foundational players that will lead to success. Tyree Wilson and Bryon Young showed promise throughout their collegiate careers, requiring first- and third-round capital. On the other hand, Michael Mayer was a home run selection in the second round. The selection that raised eyebrows was Tre Tucker, a second selection in the third. While general manager Dave Ziegler added youth to a crowded skill group, it now seemingly puts into doubt the future of Pro Bowl wideout Hunter Renfrow.

The Las Vegas Raiders had themselves a steal with Hunter Renfrow back in 2019

Renfrow’s impressive performances with the Clemson Tigers caught the eye of NFL scouts. His stature (5’10”) lacked the size franchises yearned for, causing him to rank outside of the first round. Conversely, precise route-running and soft hands kept Renfrow relevant in a talented pool of wide receivers. Las Vegas used their fifth-round pick (149) to add depth to their receiving core, hoping Renfrow would develop in the future.

It did not take long for Las Vegas’ fifth-round selection to earn his keep. In 2021, Renfrow ranked 10th in receptions (103), quite the ascension for No. 13. He also added nine touchdowns, solidifying himself as a top receiver. Injuries kept Las Vegas’ primary target off the field in 2022. A concussion (grade 1) in Week 2 and an abdominal muscle strain (grade 2) in November led to Renfrow landing on IR for the remainder of the season.

The Raiders found slight success in the aerial attack without their leading receiver from the previous season.

The trade with the Green Bay Packers that saw Davante Adams come to the Silver and Black added a new dynamic to a developing offense. A reunion with his college quarterback motivated Las Vegas’ newest superstar to have an incredible season. He finished the season ranked first in receiving touchdowns (14) and receiving yards (1,516), establishing his role as the new primary target.

Moving Renfrow makes sense all things considered…

Injuries cost the Raiders a spot in the playoff bracket last season. The offense lacked chemistry, and key players were unavailable for important games. The Las Vegas front office has decided to move forward with a fresh start. They severed ties with Derek Carr after a nine-year relationship. No. 4 ranked fourth in interceptions last season (14) and 30th in completion percentage (60.8). His negative attributes outweighed his positive ones, and this resulted in his departure. As anticipation rises for training camp, will we see Hunter Renfrow make a departure next?

Remaining healthy is vital, and franchises value knowing that their key players are reliable. A decision to part ways with Carr reflected the front offices’ urgency for change. Athletes that Las Vegas believed could be franchise centerpieces became members of the past. Darren Waller was shipped off after an injury-prone season, leaving Hunter Renfrow as one of the few remaining pre-Ziegler players.

As we continue on during this offseason, it’s obvious that Renfrow’s original two-year deal is proving costly. His 2023 cap hit of $13 million or more alone seems unworldly when you consider he amassed just 330 receiving yards last season. According to Spotrac, the Raiders do have an out in 2024, but can we expect Ziegler to take such a financial hit when taking into account Renfrow’s apparent “decline?”

The Raiders are willing to spend money for a chance to improve their playoff odds, but franchises don’t simply waste funds. Renfrow has shown signs of developing into a primary target but must remain healthy to prove his worth. Hypothetically speaking, the Raiders could opt to keep an eye on his production this season. As it stands, this regime has done a solid job of surrounding Garoppolo with plenty of receiving weapons. If Renfrow can’t get back to his 2021 form, a parting at that point makes sense.

However, there’s one more thing of note that’s worth mentioning. Perhaps this is more indicative of the Raiders’ coaching staff than anything else. Still, how will it look if head coach Josh McDaniels can’t incorporate a Pro Bowl receiver that once helped carry the team into the postseason following the Henry Ruggs III tragedy and a slew of injuries?

*Top Photo: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

It Wouldn’t Be A Raiders Draft Without Head Scratching Selections In Days 2 And 3

Join The Ramble Email List

error: Nice Try!
Subscribe to RaiderRamble

Get updates from RaiderRamble via email:

Join 6,170 other subscribers