This late in the offseason, it looks like the Las Vegas Raiders roster is pretty much set. However, interesting opportunities could present themself. The team doesn’t have a clear No. 1 wide receiver quite yet. Henry Ruggs could get there this year but there wasn’t a lot from his rookie season that would indicate he’s ready.
With Atlanta Falcons star Julio Jones possibly being available in a trade, the Raiders should at least give it consideration. He’s still one of the best wide receivers in the NFL despite being 32-years-old. Adding him would take the Raiders’ solid offense and possibly turn it into an elite group.
The Athletic’s Jeff Schultz revealed that the Falcons “would like” to trade the superstar and offered some important info:
Many teams would like Jones on their roster, but not many realistically can trade for him. The Falcons’ hope is that enough teams (think: three to five) express interest to create a market. Think of 1) teams with enough cap space to absorb Jones’ $15.3 million base salary; 2) contending teams that believe he would put them over the top; 3) young teams looking to take the next step. Among the teams that could fall into these categories: Ravens, 49ers, Patriots, Colts and Chargers. One league source said the Titans also may show interest, but they also are close to the cap ceiling.
The Falcons are waiting until after June 1 to trade Jones but the Raiders may have already made a call. However, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer suggested that Las Vegas’ interest may have waned.
“The Raiders were one team I’d actually heard connected to Jones during draft week. Other than that? It’s been quiet on the Julio front,” Breer wrote.
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Will Raiders Get Involved in Jones Trade Talks?
Players like Jones don’t often become available in a trade. He’s one of the greatest wide receivers ever and doesn’t cause drama. The only reason the Falcons would move on is that they have a young stud in Calvin Ridley and no money left to afford Jones.
The Raiders don’t have much money left to give so that’s the biggest issue facing them. There’s no doubt Jon Gruden would love to have a weapon like Jones on the squad. However, the coach showed a real commitment to spending more money on defense this offseason. If he turns around and trades for Jones, then a lot of the work he did offseason proves hollow.
Do Raiders Feel Good About WR Corps?
Wide receiver is one of the top positions to watch for the Raiders in 2021. Ruggs was a first-round pick last year and the top wide receiver selected. He never looked like the best rookie wideout last year but he still has time to develop. Ruggs has elite speed and solid hands but needs to improve his route running.
Perhaps the biggest wild card is Bryan Edwards. He was a third-round pick last year but received a ton of hype heading into the season. Injuries led to him missing a lot of time and he didn’t do much when he was on the field. If he can stay healthy in 2021, he may end up being a stud.