Considered a darkhorse Super Bowl contender coming into the season, the Las Vegas Raiders failed to live up to expectations in 2022. The team opened the year 2-6, its worst start since 2018, ultimately missing the playoffs.
Las Vegas finished with the fourth-worst record in the AFC at 6-11. The Raiders have yet to make it to the postseason in back-to-back years since all the way back in 2002, when they fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII.
After a disappointing 2022 campaign, head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler were very active in the opening weeks of the offseason. The team made many important moves, most notably parting ways with Derek Carr after nine seasons.
Las Vegas brought in Jimmy Garoppolo to replace Carr under center. It also signed safety Marcus Epps, who started in all 17 games last season for the Super Bowl runner-up Philadelphia Eagles.
Perhaps most importantly, the Raiders still have the No. 7 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. This means they should be able to bring in one of the top prospects of the class, who could be a key piece of the franchise’s present and future. Still, Las Vegas might not be done in the offseason. With some needs to address, it could end up making some trades to strengthen the roster.
With that being said, here is one trade the Las Vegas Raiders should complete during the 2023 NFL offseason.
Raiders trade Hunter Renfrow to Saints for 2023 fifth-round pick, sixth-round pick
In the 2022 offseason, the Raiders made a blockbuster trade to acquire Davante Adams from the Green Bay Packers. In his first year with the organization, he had 100 catches for 1,516 yards and was responsible for 14 touchdowns, half the team’s total.
With Mack Hollins signing with the Atlanta Falcons in free agency, the Raiders went after a new wide receiver on the open market. They ended up signing Jakobi Meyers to a three-year, $33 million contract, a bargain for one of the top wide receivers available this offseason. This past season, Meyers caught 67 of his 96 targets for 804 yards and six touchdowns, as he finished at the top of most of the New England Patriots’ receiving categories.
With this addition, Las Vegas has its two main wideouts in Meyers and Adams. That leaves other players in the receiving group with fewer opportunities on the field. This is likely the case for Hunter Renfrow.
Last year, the Clemson product signed a two-year, $32 million contract extension with the Raiders. However, he dealt with injuries in 2022 and appeared in just 10 games, recording 36 catches for 330 yards and two scores.
Since Renfrow’s role in Las Vegas will likely diminish with Meyers in town, a trade could be beneficial for both parties. One team that could emerge as a possible destination in that scenario the New Orleans Saints. Their main receivers are Chris Olave and Michael Thomas, a stellar duo, but both dealt with injuries in 2022.
This move would clear a lot of cap space for the Raiders, so a fifth and sixth-round pick could be enough to make it happen.
As for Renfrow, he would reunite with Carr in New Orleans. In his last fully-healthy season with the veteran quarterback, Renfrow had over 1,000 receiving yards and scored nine touchdowns.
All things considered, this move helps the Raiders financially while allowing Renfrow to have a larger role elsewhere. Should this trade happen, Las Vegas would clear the way for the Adams-Meyers duo to shine without the pressure of having an expensive player on the bench.