With the current roster as it is, the Las Vegas Raiders will need to have an elite offense if they hope to win a lot of games this season. The defense has holes at all three levels and could be in for a rough year. That said, there are still moves the team can make to bolster that side of the ball.
The Raiders could seriously use a playmaker in the secondary who can turn the ball over. Tre’von Moehrig and Marcus Epps are expected to be the starting safeties but have combined for four interceptions over their careers. Wide receiver Hunter Renfrow appears to be a potential odd man out. He’s coming off of a down year marred with injury and didn’t appear to be a good fit in Josh McDaniels’ offense. He could be used as a trade piece to add some help on defense.
On the Titans roster, Renfrow would be the only pass-catcher with at least 49 catches and 605 receiving yards in a single season (his 2019 rookie year numbers). Tennessee hasn’t recovered from the A.J. Brown trade, and second-year wideout Treylon Burks needs time to develop into a go-to pass-catching option.
The Raiders can take some of Byard’s salary off the Titans’ books and give them a solid wideout. In return, they would get a ball hawk who registered nine interceptions over the last two years. In the same time span, Las Vegas has 12.
Titans May Be Open to Trading Byard
Byard has established himself as one of the best safeties in the league over several years. He’s a two-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro. He hasn’t expressed any interest in leaving the Titans but the team is clearly retooling. Byard is currently on a five-year, $70.5 million contract and has a $19.6 million cap hit in 2023.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that while Byard would prefer to stay in Tennessee, he’d be open to a trade. The Titans may not have a choice but to shop him. Byard is 29 and expensive. It makes no sense to keep him around for a rebuild. If he is available, there should be multiple teams interested in his services.
Does It Make Sense for Raiders to Add Byard?
It’s looking like the Raiders might try to move Renfrow regardless of a potential Byard trade. Why not try to get an elite defender if they don’t want Renfrow? The Raiders have plenty of wide receiver talent on the roster and losing the former Pro Bowler wouldn’t be a huge blow if they’re able to add a difference-maker on defense in the process.
Byard is expensive but the Raiders are going to need to spend money on defense if they ever hope to improve it. They didn’t shell out any big contracts to defenders this offseason while giving big deals to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and wide receiver Jakobi Meyers. Byard has 27 interceptions throughout his career and could be the ballhawk the Raiders have been desperate for. That’d certainly be worth giving up Renfrow and not any draft picks.