Fresh out of the bye week, the Las Vegas Raiders only have three wide receivers currently on the roster after releasing Henry Ruggs on November 2 following his involvement in a fatal car crash and subsequent arrest on a DUI charge. The offense has been humming for the team but could cool down if they don’t get the wide receiver room in order. The NFL trade deadline has passed so the team won’t be able to add a player who is currently on a roster.
Luckily, there could be some solid options available to the team in free agency. One name to keep an eye on DeSean Jackson. The Los Angeles Rams couldn’t find a trade partner for the three-time Pro Bowler at the deadline and decided to cut him. He now has to clear waivers to hit free agency. According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Raiders are a team that is interested in Jackson’s services.
Jackson makes sense for the Raiders as they now need a speed receiver. He’s 34 years old but can still run. Considering a great wide receiver isn’t going to fall on the team’s lap, Jackson may be the best they can do.
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Jackson Not as Productive as He Once Was
There was a time when Jackson was one of the most productive wide receivers in the NFL. The 2008 second-round pick played for eight years with the Philadelphia Eagles, three with what is now the Washington Football Team and two years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before this year with the Raiders.
Ruggs has five seasons with over 1,000 yards in his career, peaking at 1,332 yards an 82 receptions in his career-best season in 2013, when he was selected to the Pro Bowl for the third time before being cut from the Eagles, per Pro Football Reference. However, his last big year was in 2016. Injuries have dominated much of Jackson’s career. He’s only played a full season twice in his career and played in a combined eight games over the last two seasons.
Jackson has been healthy this season but at 34, it’s hard to depend on him to be a consistent playmaker. That said, he’s still showing flashes of great playmaking ability. In seven games with the Rams this season, he’s averaging 27.6 yards a reception. He’s a deep threat and that’s what the Raiders will need now. He’s not a huge difference-maker for the team but could be the best option available to them.
Other Possible Options
The most exciting name who could be available to the Raiders is Odell Beckham Jr. The Cleveland Browns star wide receiver wasn’t traded at the deadline but might be getting cut. According to NFL insider Mike Silver, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski told players that Beckham is “essentially not on the team right now.”
If he does get let go, the Raiders should take a look at him but there will be heavy interest around the NFL for his services. Landing Beckham could be a long shot but there will be other options available to the team.
John Brown is a free agent and makes sense as an option. He spent the offseason with the Raiders and knows the offense. He would certainly qualify as a speedy deep threat. Willie Snead was let go by the team in late October but the new situation could lead to him wanting to come back. He’s on the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad right now so the Raiders would be able to poach him.