The Las Vegas Raiders are no stranger to surprises but they may have pulled off their biggest surprise in recent memory on Saturday. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the team is sending third-round pick Lynn Bowden Jr. and a sixth-round pick for a fourth-round pick.
Per Rapoport, the Raiders are simply getting back the fourth-round pick they used to acquire linebacker Raekwon McMillan from Miami. This is a pretty stunning move as Bowden was expected to be a dynamic playmaker for the offense. The fact that the Raiders were already willing to take a loss on him is pretty shocking.
The Raiders coaches were already talking about how Bowden was going to have a Taysom Hill-type role on the offense. There was excitement surrounding the versatile rookie. He has the ability to play running back, wide receiver and quarterback. He would’ve been a really interesting weapon for Jon Gruden to utilize. He’ll now head to a rebuilding team in Miami and will probably have a better chance to get some snaps.
Bowden Had a Bad Training Camp
Reporters have had to keep relatively quiet on what’s been going on in training camp so nobody that isn’t on the inside saw a move like this coming. However, insiders have started to let the cat out of the bag that Bowden was having a bad training camp.
Bowden was always supposed to be a project so it doesn’t make a lot of sense for the Raiders to give up on him already. It would be one thing if they were able to get a third-round pick for him but they were willing to give him up at a loss already. General manager Mike Mayock did an excellent job in his first year with the team but this a very suspect move that’s hard to justify. Sure, he might not of had a role on the offense this season but this move seems very premature.
The trade also comes at a weird time considering Mayock just recently acknowledged that they’re making things hard for Bowden.
“He’s got running plays, he’s got punts returns, we’re going to ask him to catch the ball, so we’re asking an awful lot of this young man,” Mayock said last week. “Any time you ask a college player to play a different position it’s called a projection and you’ve got to give them some time. That’s the way I feel about Lynn. Lynn has come in and done everything we’ve asked. We just have to continue to give him the time to learn to convert to a running back primarily. And he’s never been that before.”
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Dolphins Planning to Use Bowden at WR
It looks like the idea of Bowden being a running back was a bad one. According to Barry Jackson, the Dolphins are going to try him out at wide receiver.
He played a lot of wide receiver in college so the change makes sense. The Raiders didn’t really need more wide receivers and it must’ve been obvious he wasn’t going to thrive as a running back. It’s clear Las Vegas didn’t believe they could get the best out of him.