Jets WR Trade Fits Suggested With Raiders, Eagles After Corey Davis Retires

Hunter Renfrow

Getty Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow with the ball in 2022.

In a shocking turn of events, New York Jets wide receiver Corey Davis is stepping away from the NFL. The NYJ organization thanked the veteran team leader for his professionalism and dedication the past two seasons with personal statements from chairman Woody Johnson, general manager Joe Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh.

As quickly as this news came in, the Jets must turn the page with just 19 days to go before Week 1 versus the Buffalo Bills. Should the Green & White sign a new wideout? Scour the trade market? Or stand pat with their current roster?

Davis’ departure creates a tough crossroads for Douglas and Saleh to navigate ahead of the 53-man roster cutdown, and two realistic trade fits were suggested on August 23: Las Vegas Raiders 2021 Pro Bowler Hunter Renfrow and Philadelphia Eagles slot receiver Greg Ward.

Jets Analyst ‘Likes the Idea’ of Trading for Raiders WR Hunter Renfrow

Most Jets fans probably have their eye on former Aaron Rodgers teammate Davante Adams, but Jets X-Factor film analyst Michael Nania explained why the superstar is an unlikely trade candidate before suggesting Renfrow — a 1,000-yard receiver in his own right in 2021.

“Perhaps the Jets can pull a rabbit out of their hat that nobody is talking about, but among the players I’ve seen brought up in trade rumors, there is only one who would be a clear upgrade for the Jets: Hunter Renfrow,” Nania voiced. “And I think he makes a lot of sense.”

“The 27-year-old has been speculated as a possible trade candidate all offseason for a variety of reasons,” he went on. “[Renfrow] seemed miscast in Josh McDaniel’s offense last year, experiencing a large production decline in his first season under McDaniels. In the offseason, Las Vegas went out and signed former [New England] Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers to a three-year, $33 million deal, suggesting a lack of faith in Renfrow. On top of that, they drafted Cincinnati WR Tre Tucker in the third round.”

The Jets could also use a slot-upgrade after replacing Elijah Moore with Mecole Hardman and Randall Cobb. Renfrow provides another versatile option that has a higher ceiling than both — although all three could still be utilized alongside Garrett Wilson and Allen Lazard.

“While Renfrow is not an explosive player, he brings two skills that Lazard does not: extremely reliable hands and precise route-running,” Nania wrote. “Those abilities would make him a far trustier secondary target than Lazard. In situations where Wilson is covered, Rodgers will want to move onto someone he can trust to get open and secure the ball. Renfrow can do those things at a high level.”

As for the financial side, Renfrow has a guaranteed salary of $10.82 million in 2023 — which is similar to what Davis was making. The Raiders can save $11 million-plus over the next two seasons by trading him — an enticing number for a team that could be ready to move on — and Renfrow is only under contract until 2025.

“I like the idea of offering a day two selection for Renfrow,” Nania concluded.

Jets, Eagles Trade Involving WR Greg Ward ‘Could Be Worth Watching’

The second suggestion came from Fanbuzz NFL insider Matt Lombardo, and would likely only cost the Jets a late-round selection at most.

“With Corey Davis retiring, have to wonder if the Jets are a trade fit for Eagles WR Greg Ward,” Lombardo relayed on August 23. “Philly is LOADED at receiver, Ward could be the odd man out, and there’s the obvious Joe Douglas-Howie Roseman relationship.”

“Could be worth watching…” the insider added below.

Now, Ward may not be a household name like Renfrow, but he’s another serviceable pass-catcher that could potentially be an upgrade on an undrafted rookie or practice squad talent. He’s been a staff favorite of the Eagles since 2019, breaking out with 419 yards off 53 receptions in 2020.

Ward has not done much the past two seasons — either getting buried on the depth chart or dealing with injury (toe in 2022) — but he profiles as a low-cost flyer with a proven NFL track record. He’s bounced around the Philly practice squad since 2021, and would serve as experienced Cobb and Hardman insurance, both in the slot and as a returner.

The Jets have rookie Xavier Gipson in that role right now due to his special teams prowess on returns, but the UDFA has yet to impress as a pass-catcher and it’s unclear if the organization sees him as a real option for the 53-man roster in 2023.

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