The Las Vegas Raiders tried to go all-in 2022 with the trade for Davante Adams but as the year went on, it was clear that they weren’t ready to contend yet. The team went 6-11 and put together some of the most embarrassing performances of any team this season. A big reason the Raiders struggled was due to injury. Wide receiver Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller missed a combined 15 games throughout the season with injuries.
Las Vegas gave Renfrow a $32 million contract extension and Waller a $51 million one in the offseason so not having them on the field was a big blow. They were never able to get into much of a rhythm and didn’t have the best seasons when they did play. Considering how pricey the two are and the lack of production, it’s possible the Raiders consider moving on from one or both of them this offseason. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, teams around the NFL will be watching closely to see if they become available.
“Meanwhile in Vegas, I’ve talked to a few people around the league who expect coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler to continue aggressively tweaking the roster,” Fowler wrote. “McDaniels is big on ‘culture fits’ and will want his own guys. Teams will be keeping an eye on tight end Darren Waller and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow in that process.”
This Doesn’t Mean Raiders Are Shopping Waller or Renfrow
Many online have run with Fowler’s article and suggested it means the Raiders are shopping Renfrow and Waller. That is not the case. Fowler’s piece is just relaying what he’s hearing from other teams around the NFL. It’s certainly possible that the two Pro Bowlers will be shipped out but that’s far from a guarantee.
Fowler noted that Zielger and McDaniels want their “own guys,” but they gave Waller and Renfrow extensions in the offseason. That means that the two players are McDaniels’ guys now. While they both had disappointing years, they have proven to be valuable pieces in the past. There was a time when there was an argument that Waller was the best tight end in the league and Renfrow was the best slot receiver. If the Raiders hope to attract a quarterback like Tom Brady, they’re going to want to make sure they have elite weapons to surround him with. It’s no secret that Brady has had more success than anybody with tight ends and slot receivers.
How Valuable Are Waller & Renfrow?
Trading Waller and Renfrow would be odd right now due to the fact that their value is likely at its lowest point. Last year, Vic Tafur of The Athletic reported that the Green Bay Packers offered the Raiders a second-round pick for Waller at the trade deadline. Las Vegas declined and then put the tight end on Injured Reserve a couple of weeks later. Perhaps the Packers would still be willing to give up a second-round pick for the tight end but he’s only getting older.
Renfrow is likely less valuable. He has just one season with over 656 receiving yards. He’s a very good player but a slot receiver coming off of a bad year isn’t going to light the market on fire. The Raiders could possibly get a second-round pick for him but a third-rounder is likely the cap. It’s not worth it to give up Renfrow for that kind of draft capital.