Top Patriots 2023 free agent target Hunter Renfrow off the market
By Mike Luciano
The New England Patriots have seen multiple Wild Card contenders in the AFC get even better in this offseason, with the Las Vegas Raiders making some particularly seismic moves. With Derek Carr, Davante Adams, and now Hunter Renfrow locked up long-term, Josh McDaniels has quite a quality infrastructure out west.
Even though McDaniels is not in Foxborough anymore, the idea of adding a slot receiver that can come right in and catch seven or eight passes every game could help Mac Jones’ completion percentage continue to soar. Renfrow, a free agent after this year due to his rookie deal, would have been perfect.
He might be a bit on the older side for a player on a rookie contract (and lacks elite physical measurables), but it’s easy to see why he has been a consistent playmaker in this league the last few years. As a result, Vegas backed up the Brinks truck and took a top offseason target away from New England.
Renfrow signed a two-year, $32 million extension with the Raiders that designates him as McDaniels’ ideal slot receiver for the next few years. Any hope of the Patriots trying to replicate the Julian Edelman or Wes Welker magic with Renfrow in the immediate future went down the tubes on Friday.
The Patriots can no longer sign Hunter Renfrow after the 2022 season
Renfrow has been a solid receiver for some time, but he really put his foot on the gas pedal this past year after topping 100 catches and 1,000 yards. He, Darren Waller, and newcomer Davante Adams make for one of the best receiving trios in the entire sport.
The Patriots didn’t completely neglect the wide receiver position this offseason, as they traded for DeVante Parker and used a high draft choice on speedy deep threat Tyquan Thornton. Even with those additions, though, Renfrow possessed the perfect style of play for that Belichick slot role that made a Hall of Famer out of Welker and a star out of Edelman.
The Patriots will have to look elsewhere to find their Renfrow, or hope that Jakobi Meyers ends up suddenly becoming an elite receiver in that same role.
Unfortunately, McDaniels has kept one of his most prized players away from his old sensei in Foxborough. Unless McDaniels and the Raiders tank entirely and move into seller mode, fans need to cancel their Renfrow jersey pre-orders.