One of the most exciting developments for the Las Vegas Raiders this season has been the play of the young wide receivers. Both Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards were highly touted coming out of last year’s draft but didn’t make much of an impact during the season. The two look like different players this year. Edwards and Ruggs combine for 42 yards and 815 yards in seven games.
While the Raiders are excited those two are playing well, their emergence has limited the roles of other players. Veteran wide receiver Willie Snead has only caught three passes in seven games with the team. He signed with Las Vegas in the offseason after several strong seasons with the New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens but his productivity has taken a nosedive. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Snead requested to get released and the Raiders granted said request.
Drew Rosenhaus, Snead’s agent, believes “there will be a market for him,” per Schefter. The wide receiver appeared to enjoy his time with the Raiders but he just wasn’t seeing many targets – only five so far this season. Snead is a good receiver and could be helpful to a team that doesn’t have as strong of a wide receiver corps.
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Who Will Replace Snead?
With Snead headed to free agency, the Raiders have an opening at wide receiver. It’s hard to imagine the team will be in on another veteran after seeing Snead and John Brown request releases. Las Vegas could already have Snead’s replacement in-house.
Undrafted rookie Dillon Stoner is currently on the practice squad but the Raiders have been high on him all offseason. He’s yet to suit up for a game this season but that could be changing soon. If the Raiders don’t think he’s ready, there could be some other options. The Atlanta Falcons just released former fan favorite Keelan Doss. He spent the last two seasons with the silver and black and definitely knows the offense. He could be a solid addition that won’t demand very many targets. The Raiders are solid at wide receiver but it doesn’t hurt to add good depth.
Raiders Passing Offense Humming
Normally, it would be concerning to see two veteran wide receivers request releases. However, it’s more of a testament to how well the younger players have played. The Raiders are second in the league in passing offense with 2,155 passing yards. The passing offense is playing at an incredibly high level. Quarterback Derek Carr deserves a ton of credit for the improvement but he couldn’t do it without Ruggs, Edwards and Hunter Renfrow playing well.
The exciting thing for the Raiders is that the young wide receivers should continue to get better. This offense always had potential but was held back by poor play from wide receivers. It could now be considered one of the team’s biggest strengths. Now that Carr can spread the ball around, the Raiders passing offense is one of the best in the NFL.