The Las Vegas Raiders have already moved on from two big-name players this offseason with the release of Derek Carr and the trade of Darren Waller, and another one could be on the way. The team has been aggressive in adding wide receivers this offseason and now there are 11 on the roster. They only kept five on the active roster to start last season so they’ll eventually have to cut five to six players.
Hunter Renfrow was originally thought of as a perfect fit with head coach Josh McDaniels but that may not be true. Renfrow is at his best when he can be creative and improvise, which is something McDaniels absolutely doesn’t want. That could make him an odd man out. The Raiders won’t cut him but they could consider trading him. Vic Tafur of The Atheltic was asked if Renfrow could be traded and he gave some telling insight:
When? This year? Fifty percent. Before the 2024 season? Ninety percent. Carr and Waller weren’t fits with McDaniels, and I see Renfrow in the same boat. The Raiders added so many receivers in the offseason and then drafted a slot guy in Tre Tucker in the third round.
There were a lot of comparisons of Renfrow to Patriots slot guys Wes Welker and Julian Edelman when McDaniels was hired — and the new regime even gave him a contract extension. But both those guys are a little bigger and may hold up in traffic better in the new regime’s eyes. Plus, Gruden encouraged Renfrow to put his own spin on routes and that’s a no-no now.
Trade Renfrow Comes With Large Dead Cap Hit
The Raiders have Renfrow a $32 million contract extension last offseason that’s kicking in this year. That will make trading him much more difficult. If they traded him before June 1, they’d have a dead cap hit of $11.66 million. If they do it after June 1, they’d have a dead cap hit of $6.16 million this year and then a $5.5 one next year. That’s a lot of dead money to take on for a player who can still be effective.
It’s easy to forget that Renfrow is just a year removed from a Pro Bowl season where he made 103 catches. He had a rough 2022 season but that was largely due to injuries. He can still be an effective player and one of the best route runners in the NFL.
What Could Raiders Could for Renfrow in Trade?
Another part of the equation is that the Raiders might not get a huge return in a trade of Renfrow right now. His value has certainly taken a hit after a disappointing season. The best they could do is likely just a third-round pick. If he bounces back this season, his value could be higher.
Based on what Tafur is saying, it’s looking very unlikely that Renfrow will be on the team in 2024. For now, he still has a chance to stick around for 2023. He needs to have a big season for a number of reasons. The Raiders only have him a two-year extension that expires after the 2024 season. If he wants to get paid again, he needs to show that he can still make cornerbacks look foolish.