After the Las Vegas Raiders hired Josh McDaniels in the offseason, one player everybody expected to blow up with him as head coach was wide receiver Hunter Renfrow. The New England Patriots passing offense over the years was built around elite slot receivers. Following Renfrow’s Pro Bowl season last year, which saw him catch 103 passes for 1,038 yards, there was an argument that he was the best slot receiver in the NFL.
The Raiders rewarded him with a two-year contract extension in the offseason worth $32 million. Renfrow, Davante Adams and Darren Waller were supposed to be an unstoppable receiving trio. Unfortunately for Las Vegas, that hasn’t been the case. Renfrow has only played in six games this season due to injury and has just 21 catches for 192 yards.
He’s currently on the Injured Reserve so it’s hard to imagine he can salvage this season. The Raiders have spent a ton of money on offense but may want to shift some of that money to the defense. One Patriots fan asked Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard if he could see the team being interested in a Renfrow trade. The longtime insider is not very high on the wide receiver.
“They might take him [Renfrow] in a trade, and JM [Josh McDaniels] might be happy to give Renfrow away,” Bedard wrote. “Not sure if it was the injury he just went on IR with, but he has been terrible this season. He has absolutely no speed, no juice. No Waller, bad Renfrow has made for a mediocre offense. Hollins is an outside guy. Renfrow is the slot. He’s just bad, not ignored.”
Ridiculous to Say Renfrow Is a Bad Player
There’s no doubt Renfrow has been bad this season. He single-handedly lost the Week 2 game against the Arizona Cardinals due to a fumble that was returned for a touchdown in overtime. He hasn’t been the difference maker he’s been in years past. However, to suggest he’s not a good player is patently ridiculous.
“He’s different,” James said of Renfrow on “The Pivot” podcast. “Nah he ain’t no encyclopedia salesman. Turn the film on. You watch film, don’t you? He’s underrated. You have to give him credit. He’s good. You better guard him.”
James would likely know a lot more about Renfrow’s skill level than a writer from Boston who doesn’t even cover the Raiders.
Will Renfrow Return This Season?
Renfrow is currently on Injured Reserve with an oblique issue. He’ll be eligible to return in Week 14 against the Los Angeles Rams. The team hasn’t said much about the severity of his injury so it remains to be seen if he’ll be able to return.
Renfrow should be motivated to return. It’s been a disappointing season for him and he needs to prove that he can still make plays in this new offense. As noted earlier, slot receivers are supposed to thrive in McDaniels’ offense. If he can’t figure out how to be more effective, the Raiders may actually start exploring trade options.