The NFL is preparing for another wave of free agency, this time for the players who become post-June 1 cap casualties, and Las Vegas Raiders receiver Hunter Renfrow is expected to be among those names per recent reports. The Los Angeles Rams are not going to be in the business of taking on more high salaries after an offseason in which they shed any veteran contract that they could, but would they take an interest in Renfrow if he comes at an extraordinarily cheap price?
Update: Vincent Bonsignore of The Las Vegas Review-Journal notes that the Raiders are very unlikely to release Hunter Renfrow because of his fully guaranteed money, but that he could be on the trade block
They certainly do need a receiver who could help the offense on third downs as much as Renfrow has done for the Raiders over the past four years.
“I do not expect his return,” @HondoCarpenter of @SInow regarding Las Vegas #Raiders Pro Bowl wide receiver Hunter Renfrow:— MLFootball (@_MLFootball) May 16, 2023
Hondo also said “I expect something to happen after June first” pic.twitter.com/M3tsbANxpl
Though he did have over 100 catches and 1,000 yards in 2021, Renfrow is not going to be a “big numbers” guy most weeks. He’s only had five career games with over 90 yards and the most reasonable expectation is that Renfrow is going to be good for between two and five catches and around 10 yards per reception. However, he is known for making catches in clutch, high-leverage moments.
Renfrow is most productive on third down and that’s where nine of his 17 career touchdowns have been scored. On third-and-10+ yard situations, Renfrow has caught 26-of-28 targets for 345 yards. He has also caught 68 passes for 748 yards and seven touchdowns in the fourth quarter, all Renfrow’s best numbers for any quarter.
But because of his injuries in 2022, a concussion in Week 2 and then later an abdominal strain that caused him to go on IR in November, and his limited ability to become more than a third-down safety valve, Renfrow may be the type of notable veteran receiver who does come within the L.A. Rams very limited budget. He’d also give Sean McVay a better number two option next to Cooper Kupp than any receiver we know of on the roster right now.
Renfrow has caught nearly 75% of his career targets, while Van Jefferson has caught 56.7%. When given opportunities for more playing time, like during the 2021 playoffs, Jefferson disappeared. Renfrow has caught 15 career red zone touchdowns, compared to six for Jefferson. L.A.’s other options right now are Tutu Atwell, Ben Skowronek, Lance McCutcheon, Puka Nacua, Austin Trammell, and five rookie undrafted free agents.
Whether the Rams are starting Matthew Stafford, who could use more weapons that allow him to get the ball out quicker to a reliable target, or someone like Stetson Bennett, having quality receivers is always a good idea for a team whether they are rebuilding or vying for a Super Bowl. Renfrow is a good situational receiver and he might be available, the only question is, “Is he affordable?”