A fifth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, wide receiver Hunter Renfrow hauled in 103 passes for 1,038 yards and nine touchdowns during his 2021 campaign. Entering a contract year the following season, Las Vegas Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler elected to hand Renfrow a two-year, $32 million extension. Now, less than half of one season into that extension, Ziegler is looking to part ways with his recently extended receiver.
In no way does this bode well for the Silver and Black’s current regime, who may be on their last life as is.
There’s a multitude of reasons why this is a bad look, starting with the obvious – extending a player, just to trade them seven weeks into their new extension. Sounds bad, right? Yet, that’s seven weeks longer than both quarterback Derek Carr and tight end Darren Waller lasted, who each signed extensions with Renfrow during the ’22 offseason.
Why are these players receiving long-term, multi-million dollar extensions if Dave Ziegler is willing to give up on them after just one season? Clearly the faith was never there to begin with; why waste money putting them on the books?
It’s bad business – you can bet players league-wide are taking note. Is a premier free agent going to sign with the Raiders, knowing his long-term deal may very well be cut up should they have a down year adjusting to their new teammates, new coaches, and new system?
While all of the above is nothing less than head scratching, it pales in comparison to how the Raiders are still actively in ‘win-now’ mode, yet are begging any of the 31 other teams to take their Pro Bowl receiver off their hands.
The Las Vegas Raiders will part ways with Hunter Renfrow, and he will come cheap
Not only do both Hunter Renfrow and Dave Ziegler want to get a trade done due to a ‘fractured relationship with Josh McDaniels,’ via Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz, but Las Vegas has been reportedly trying to move the receiver since last season.
Renfrow has lasted seven weeks longer than both Carr and Waller, but that wasn’t the plan. Much like his two former teammates, the Raiders’ brass wanted Renfrow out the door before he received a penny of his extension.
And in the meanwhile, Josh McDaniels has done everything in his power to lower Renfrow’s value via trade.
From Week 5 onward, the 27-year-old has lined up in less than 38% of all offensive snaps each week. Against New England in Week 6, Renfrow totaled a mere seven snaps. Tre Tucker’s offensive snap percentage in both Week 6 (31%) and Week 7 (49%) were superior to Renfrow’s.
The Raiders are begging for a team to trade for Renfrow while simultaneously hurting his value by refusing to play him.
And it’s not as if Hunter Renfrow isn’t getting open frequently.
Replay just about any down from Las Vegas’ offense this season; No. 13 will almost certainly find space. Likewise, whoever’s quarterbacking will almost certainly ignore his presence.
If the Raiders are truly in win-now mode, why are they unwilling to involve a receiver who is oftentimes wide open in the game-plan? More importantly, if they’re truly in win-now mode, why are they begging to get rid of such a quality player?
None of it makes much sense.
*Top Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images