Ex-Raiders WR Zay Jones Signing Shocking Contract With AFC Team: Report

zay jones

Getty Former Raiders WR Zay Jones.

One thing is clear from the early moments of free agency and that is the Jacksonville Jaguars came to play. The team first turned heads when they gave former Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk to an $84 million contract over four years. That deal made him the third highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL on an annual basis despite never breaking 1,000 receiving yards in a season. The Jaguars didn’t stop there with the shocking wide receiver contracts.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Las Vegas Raiders free agent wide receiver Zay Jones is also landing a big contract with Jacksonville. He’s getting $30 million over three years.

Jones originally came into the NFL as a second-round pick of the Buffalo Bills in 2017. After not working out there, he was traded to the Raiders during the 2019 season. His role wasn’t consistent in Las Vegas but he finally made his mark in 2021. He caught 47 passes for 546 yards and one touchdown. He was also responsible for a number of clutch plays like the game-winning touchdown reception against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1.

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This Is a Shocking Contract for Jones

Jones is an intense worker and puts a ton of time into being the best player possible. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr consistently called him the hardest worker on the team throughout the season. That said, to say this contract is surprising would be an understatement. Nobody could’ve foreseen Jones getting $10 million annually.

In 2020, he only had 154 receiving yards despite playing all 16 games. There has been plenty of opportunity in Las Vegas for him to become a No. 1 wide receiver but never seized it. It’s difficult to understand why the Jaguars would think he was worth such a big contract. He’s a solid No. 3 wide receiver for a good team. He’s now making the money of a really good No. 2 wide receiver. Perhaps the Jaguars think the Raiders and Bills were holding him back. That’s unlikely as Carr did everything he could to involve Jones as the two were close and worked together in the offseason. He’ll now have quarterback phenom Trevor Lawrence to work with so it’ll be interesting to see how the two develop together.

Raiders Need for WR Help Grows

There was absolutely no conceivable way the Raiders were going to match the Jaguars’ offer. Jones is a great teammate, a hard worker and did make some big plays but it’s hard to justify him being worth $10 million annually. However, with Jones not coming back, the Raiders’ need for wide receiver help is amplified.

Hunter Renfrow and Bryan Edwards are the only two wide receivers who will certainly be on the roster next season. The Raiders still need a No. 1 and there are options. The team could still look to the draft to address the position but they do need veteran help. With Jones headed south, expect the team to add a veteran or two in the coming weeks.

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