The Las Vegas Raiders have taken things very slowly in free agency. Outside of the Yannick Ngakoue signing, they have yet to make a big splash. Once they lost Nelson Agholor to the New England Patriots, it was clear that the team was going to have a need at wide receiver.
It appears that they have filled it. According to NFL insider Adam Caplan, the Raiders have agreed to a deal with veteran wide receiver John Brown.
Per Caplan, the deal is for one year and is worth $3.75 million, but could go up to $5.5 million.
Brown was recently released by the Buffalo Bills after a two-year stint with the team. He was mostly cut for cap purposes. The former Arizona Cardinal is one of the best speed receivers in the NFL. He ran a 4.34 40-yard dash when he was coming into the league. Brown has also had a lot of success throughout his career. He’s put together two 1,000+ yard seasons. That said, injuries are a concern. He missed seven games last season with an ankle sprain. When healthy, he’s a dynamic playmaker.
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How Brown Fits With Raiders
Adding a player like Brown is certainly an interesting move. He’s roughly the same size as Henry Ruggs and has a similar skill set. However, Brown should be playing the “X” position while Ruggs spends most of his time at “Z”.
The former Bill is one of the NFL’s best deep threats so it’s easy to see him filling the role that Agholor has left. Based on this signing, it appears the Raiders have plans for Ruggs to be more than just a deep threat. They could be planning to use him all over the field. Though he had a very disappointing rookie season, there’s a reason he was the first wide receiver taken in last year’s draft.
The Raiders didn’t do a great job of using him in creative ways. Now that he has a year under his belt, Jon Gruden should cook up more plays designed for him. Considering CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy and Justin Jefferson were all selected after Ruggs and look like emerging stars, the Raiders have to make sure that the young speedster isn’t a bust.
Are Raiders Done Making Moves at WR?
The Raiders have been linked to JuJu Smith-Schuster this offseason but with the Brown signing, that ship has probably sailed. Zay Jones is still a free agent and there’s no guarantee he returns. He if signs elsewhere, the Raiders will have an opening at wide receiver.
That means another move at wide receiver is likely. Now, don’t expect a big name like Kenny Golladay to land in Las Vegas but perhaps a proven veteran on the downside of his career like A.J. Green could be a fit. The Raiders clearly like their young trio of Ruggs, Hunter Renfrow and Bryan Edwards but they haven’t shown enough for the team to have confidence in them for 2021.