Raiders Could Use Cap Space to Give New Contract to Pro Bowler: Insider

josh mcdaniels

Getty Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels.

The Las Vegas Raiders have put together quite the spending spree this offseason. Derek Carr and Maxx Crosby both received massive extensions this offseason that made them among the highest-paid players in the NFL. The team also signed Davante Adams and Chandler Jones to sizable contracts.

All this spending has left the Raiders with limited cap space. However, there’s still one player who is going to need an extension. Wide receiver Hunter Renfrow is entering a contract year and he proved his worth to the team last season. In 2021, he had 103 catches for 1,038 yards en route to his first Pro Bowl selection. He’s widely regarded as one of the best slot receivers in the NFL.

Renfrow is a massive fan favorite and everybody wants to see him get paid soon. While it’s possible the Raiders wait until next offseason to figure out his contract going forward, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler believes it could happen in the coming weeks.

“One of the game’s premier slot receivers is a year from free agency, and the Raiders have proved aggressive so far under the Josh McDaniels-Dave Ziegler regime,” Fowler wrote. “Las Vegas expects to have some cap space freed up by June, so perhaps it digs in sometime this summer.”

If Mike Mayock was still general manager, Renfrow would likely already have a new contract. It’s unclear how new general manager Dave Ziegler feels about the wide receiver. It’s expected for Renfrow to hit another level in Josh McDaniels’ offense so it might be smart to pay him now in case he has a massive 2022.

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Renfrow Named Among Top WRs

Last season, Renfrow proved that not only was he among the NFL’s best slot receivers but one of the best overall wide receivers. His route running is revered and he rarely drops a pass. Pro Football Focus recently ranked the best wide receivers in the NFL and Renfrow clocked in at 27:

Renfrow is among the league’s best slot receivers. He turned in the seventh-best slot receiving grade in 2021 and brought in 96.5% of his catchable targets when on the inside.

Renfrow also doesn’t get the recognition he deserves as a route runner. The 5–foot–10, 184-pound receiver’s separation rate last season stood at the 95th percentile among qualifying NFL receivers.

Some could argue that he belongs even higher but he needs to replicate his success from last season to increase his ranking.

Carr Wants Renfrow Paid

There’s one player on the Raiders who wouldn’t be happy if Renfrow didn’t get a new contract. Derek Carr took a team-friendly deal recently so that they could afford to pay his teammates. Even when there were recent rumors about Deebo Samuel wanting a trade from the San Francisco 49ers, Carr made it clear that he’d rather the Raiders pay Renfrow than consider making a deal with their former Bay Area foe.

The biggest question regarding a possible Renfrow extension will revolve around just how much money he’s looking for. He’s not getting the $25+ million the top wide receivers are making. He’ll likely see something in the $15 million a year range and could get even more.

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