The Oakland Raiders have a receiver problem. Even when everyone is completely healthy, the team has a serious issue holding onto passes. As a team, the Raiders dropped 28 passes last season. That’s just unacceptable. Jarvis Landry has received the franchise tag from the Miami Dolphins, but he’s also also been given permission to negotiate a potential trade. The Raiders need another reliable receiver, Jarvis Landry needs a new home, why not?
Combine Rumors: Jarvis Landry to Oakland?
Rumor around the combine campfire is that the Oakland Raiders are very interested in trading for Miami Dolphins wide receiver, Jarvis Landry. The Landry-to-Oakland rumors picked up some real steam when he and quarterback Derek Carr really seemed to hit it off at the Pro bowl. Taking a closer look at Oakland’s roster, it makes a lot of sense. After all, as dynamic as Amari Cooper has been, he’s also been very inconsistent, and even on his best day, he can’t do it all.
The King Crab Of It All
Not that long ago, it seemed like Jon Gruden was dead-set on cutting half of the Raider roster to make way for a new-look team. One of the names that popped up the most consistently on the “dead man walking” list was wide receiver Michael Crabtree. Crabtree will turn 31 years old next season, and coming off the worst full season of his career, failing to live up to his contract or Oakland’s expectations.
However, as time has gone on, it looks like more and more of these Raiders will be back in 2018. Chucky has remained vague about who will stay and who will go, but through varying reports, we’ve learned that Bruce Irvin, Marshawn Lynch, and Crabtree will likely be back next season.
Believe it or not, this is a good thing. The Raiders need as many reliable receivers as possible, and despite a rough season, Crabtree is still a good receiver. Derek Carr trusts him a whole lot, and as long as he can get past how difficult last season was, there’s no reason he wouldn’t be able to return to form in 2018. That just leaves the third receiver spot.
The Slot Receiver
Jon Gruden has an idea for the offense he’ll want to run, it will likely need more than Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree to thrive. And looking at what the Raiders have on the roster, the team needs to improve.The best thing about Seth Roberts is his blocking ability, and while Cordarrelle Patterson is explosive, he’s still not a reliable wide receiver. The Raiders need to look elsewhere for their third receiver.
This isn’t a very strong receiver class in this draft. The best receiver is Calvin Ridley, and even if he does fall to Oakland’s pick, the Raiders aren’t going to spend a top ten pick on a wide out. Honestly, Oakland has bigger needs, especially on defense, and it only makes sense that Reggie McKenzie and company will target that side of the ball again this year. And beyond that, it’s a very thin receiver class, and unless the team takes a chance on someone like Christian Kirk, the team will need to look elsewhere for a receiver.
When the Miami Dolphins slapped the franchise tag on Jarvis Landry, the best receiver in this year’s free agent class went off the market. It’s still a solid class, but there’s no doubt that it’s not littered with superstars. Considering that the Raiders have starters in Crabtree and Cooper, whoever they sign will have to be a slot guy or a very inexpensive starter.
Plenty of the receivers will still receive the franchise tag or be re-signed, but there’s still a chance the Raiders could sign someone like Paul Richardson or Taylor Gabriel, but neither of those guys have the upside that Landry has.
A Landry Provides
What does Landry bring to the team? Something they haven’t had for quite some time, a sure-handed slot guy. He was targeted 161 times in 2017, and yet he only dropped three passes. Seth Roberts just wasn’t the slot receiver that Oakland hoped he would be, and at the very least, Landry is a very good slot receiver. He’ll take pressure off of Crabtree and Cooper, opening up the passing game, especially on third down.
Honestly, why the hell not? The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles faced off in the Super Bowl this year, and neither team had an elite number one receiver. Sure, both teams had several very good receivers, but neither team had a guy you would consider top ten. Maybe it’s better to have a group of talented, versatile guys than a couple of really great one-dimensional guys.
So, if the asking price isn’t too bad, why not? The Raiders have plenty of trade bait, especially after the compensatory picks the team received, and it’s a definite need. Especially as a pure slot receiver, he could make an immediate impact on Oakland’s offense moving forward. Maybe there could be something to the Bromance between Carr and Landry at the Pro Bowl after all.