It’s the time of the year in the NFL when everything a free agent does is put under a microscope. Free agency is about to kick off and there are some big names on the move. With the AFC West becoming a gauntlet, the Las Vegas Raiders need to answer with some moves of their own.
Wide receiver is one of the team’s biggest needs. Luckily, there are some really good options in free agency. If the Raiders don’t want to spend too much money on a guy like Allen Robinson, they could look to a player like D.J. Chark, who is coming off an injury-plagued year but has unlimited upside. Plus, it appears the wide receiver is a fan of Las Vegas. Just days before free agency kicks off, Chark made a trip to Sin City.
He also apparently took a private jet to get there.
Chark is exactly the type of wide receiver the Raiders need. Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller can dominate the inside of the field but the team needs an outside threat who can stretch the field. Chark runs a 4.34 40-yard dash at 6-foot-4. He’s a lethal target and even made the Pro Bowl in 2019. Now, just because he’s in Las Vegas doesn’t necessarily mean much. The Raiders aren’t technically allowed to speak to free agents yet. Las Vegas is obviously a destination city for people all over the country. However, it’s somewhat notable he’s there and certainly won’t hurt the Raiders’ chances of landing him if they choose to pursue him.
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Chark Held Back by Poor QB Play?
The most appealing aspect about Chark is that he could only be scratching the surface of his career. Outside of 2019, the other three seasons of his career have been lackluster. He’s missed more than two games due to injury in every non-2019 season. If he can stay healthy, he could be a difference-maker.
It’s no secret that the Jacksonville Jaguars have been a mess at quarterback for years. The only time Chark received half-decent quarterback play was Gardner Minshew’s rookie year. Not even quarterback prodigy Trevor Lawrence looked that impressive in his first year with the team. Pairing Chark with a quarterback who throws a great deep ball like Derek Carr could do wonders for his career.
Should Raiders Target Chark or Robinson?
With Davante Adams and Chris Godwin both getting franchise tagged, the free agent class at wide receiver got weaker. Fortunately for the Raiders, Robinson and Chark remain on the market. Both wide receivers have similar stories as they were drafted by the Jaguars. Robinson was able to get and went to the Chicago Bears, but they also have well-documented quarterback issues.
Out of the two, Robinson is the more proven commodity. He’s broken 1,000 receiving yards in a season three times while Chark has done it once. While Robinson would be a bigger get for the Raiders, Chark might actually be the better fit. Robinson is more of a possession receiver who isn’t known for his speed. He can stretch the field and make big plays but Chark can be more dynamic down the field thanks to his speed. Plus, he’s younger and cheaper. That said, fans should be thrilled if the Raiders can get either of them.