In the early stages of free agency, the Las Vegas Raiders were connected to the likes of JuJu Smith-Schuster and A.J. Green. Yet, in the end. they signed John Brown of the Buffalo Bills.
There is a clear plan for Brown. He will fill the Nelson Agholor role, who was a favorite of quarterback Derek Carr in 2020 and he had 48 catches and eight touchdowns catches. The Raiders would love Brown to duplicate that.
And it’s likely the Raiders are done adding receivers in free agency.
Really, they feel like they have their top five receivers for 2021 already on the roster with Brown, Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards. Slot receiver Hunter Renfrow and the re-signed Zay Jones. who they like despite his lack of production the past two years.
It’s smart that the Raiders are clearly leaning on Ruggs and Edwards, first and third-round draft picks last year. Had Smith-Schuster (who signed back with the Pittsburgh Steelers) or Green (who signed with the Arizona Cardinals) been brought in, the second-year players’ roles would have been diminished.
That would have been unfortunate. These two need to develop. Both Ruggs and Edwards were supposed to be starters last year but Injuries and a lack of production hurt each of them.
The Raiders need these receivers to be foundation pieces as the roster builds. The only way that is going to happen is if they can chance to contribute and be on the field.
The way the Raiders handed free agency assures that will the case in 2021 and that’s important.