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Hunter Renfrow contract: Early thoughts

Another big, smart move in Las Vegas

NFL: Denver Broncos at Las Vegas Raiders
Hunter Renfrow
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders just extended the contract of stud slot receiver Hunter Renfrow. Here are some initial thoughts on the new deal:

Building a winning culture:
Many people wondered when Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels took over the franchise if they would completely blow up the team and make it their own. They said they wouldn’t and they have kept their word. They clearly liked the nucleus of this team that went 10-7 and made the playoffs in a turbulent 2021 season. They extended quarterback Derek Carr, defensive end Maxx Crosby and now Renfrow. All three were set to be free agents next year. Now, they are secured. It’s a great message from the new guys to the locker room. Plus, it’s clear these players want to be Raiders. They could have waited to see what the free-agent market offered next winter and probably could have made a lot more money. But they wanted to stay with the Raiders. That’s a big deal.

Kupp plan?
Renfrow received a two-year extension (for 2023 and 2024) that will pay him $32 million with $21 million in guaranteed money. That is pretty much a market deal, but considering he will be a Raider for the next three seasons for less than $12 million is a good deal. Renfrow will be ready for a new deal at 29, so he is primed for another biggie. He could take the route of Rams’ star receiver Cooper Kupp. He, like Renfrow, blew up in his third NFL season. He then signed a three-year deal worth $15.75 million a year. This week, he signed another monster contract. That could be Renfrow’s path in Las Vegas.

NFL: NFL Honors-Red Carpet
Darren Waller
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Waller is next:
After getting Carr, Crosby and Renfrow secured, there is one big contract left in Las Vegas — tight end Darren Waller. He has two years left on a contract in which he is badly underpaid. Perhaps the Raiders can get something done soon or wait until after next season. But he will likely get paid in las Vegas. Waller knows he needs a new deal, but he has also been open about being a good teammate and he currently has no holdout plans.

The window:
These new contracts and the offseason additions of superstar receiver Davante Adams and pass-rusher Chandler Jones means the Raiders are going to try to win the Super Bowl within the next three years. This is the window. It’s time, it’s open and there are no excuses.

Cap tip to previous regime:
Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock had their issues in the draft, but they did strike it rich in the mid rounds in 2019. They drafted Crosby in the fourth round and Renfrow in the fifth rounds. Those were two winning lottery tickets.