There are some guys who just appear to be born to play for the New England Patriots.
Some of them find their way to Foxboro like Mac Jones and Hunter Henry, and others play their entire careers without playing for the Patriots like Larry Fitzgerald. The latest player added to the list is Las Vegas Raiders receiver Hunter Renfrow.
CLNS’ Evan Lazar marveled at Renfrow’s play out of the slot and not-so-subtly predicted the talented inside receiver would get a handsome free-agent offer from Bill Belichick and the Patriots.
That’s a nasty move out of the slot and it has to make Patriots fans wonder if they’re looking at the next real replacement for Julian Edelman.
Hunter Renfrow Might Be One of the Most Underrated Receivers in the NFL
Renfrow, who is just 25 years old, had a solid rookie season with 49 receptions for 605 yards and 4 TDs. He followed that up with a better second season in 2020.
Renfrow snagged 56 passes for 656 yards and 2 scores. While the 2021 season is just a week old, Renfrow is on pace to blow past his totals from the past 2 seasons. In the Raiders’ thrilling Week 1 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football, Renfrow had 6 receptions for 70 yards.
That’s on pace for 96 receptions and 1,120 yards. You’d think there would be some TDs in there over the course of the season as well. As he is more comfortable with his role in Jon Gruden’s offense, Renfrow may be set to put up some serious numbers as a favorite target for quarterback Derek Carr.
Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review Journal says Renfrow “has surpassed all expectations.” Graney wrote:
He’s in a third season with the Raiders, a wide receiver/punt returner who has played above and beyond his fifth-round status of 2019. Crazy. A draft pick of the team who has actually surpassed where he was selected. Go figure. The maturation process of an NFL player is hardly universal in its timeline. Players develop at different rates. Those who lag behind aren’t long for the journey. It’s a brutal game. The weak of mind and body need not apply. Relationships are key. Renfrow has forged one with quarterback Derek Carr that has created a heightened level of reliability. Bottom line: Carr trusts Renfrow impeccably.
If Renfrow has a breakout season in 2021, you can bet he will have a plethora of suitors when he hits free agency.
When is Hunter Renfrow Going to Be a Free Agent?
In case you’re wondering, and you should be, Renfrow will be a free agent after next season, per Spotrac. He’ll be 28 heading into the first season of his new contract.
It’s not an ideal age for free agency, but you could make the case that a 3-year deal for Renfrow would make a lot of sense for the Patriots. If Lazar is correct, Belichick will try to make the receiver an offer he cannot refuse. If Renfrow continues to play well, don’t expect the Raiders to give him up without a fight.