General manager Dave Ziegler continues to wheel and deal as he molds the Las Vegas Raiders roster. Last week, he made a move that struck a nerve with a portion of the fanbase.
On Friday, the Raiders traded wide receiver Bryan Edwards and a conditional 2023 seventh-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for a 2023 fifth-rounder.
While the Falcons acquired a wideout who can start in three-wide receiver sets, Raiders fans wondered why the front office would deal a third-year player who’s coming off a decent season with 34 receptions for 571 yards and three touchdowns.
Though Edwards’ 2021 receiving numbers look solid on paper, those who watched the Raiders know he often disappeared for long stretches and at times when the team needed a playmaker to step up in the passing game without Henry Ruggs III (waived in November) and tight end Darren Waller hurt late in the season.
After Week 10 of the 2021 campaign, Edwards only scored one touchdown and eclipsed 30 receiving yards in one game (Week 18). Vegas didn’t deal a budding star; Ziegler capitalized on a young wideout’s trade value before it may have plummeted with a top-heavy pass-catching group.
The Las Vegas Raiders acquired star wide receiver, Davante Adams, from the Green Bay Packers in March, and Hunter Renfrow is coming off a Pro Bowl year with 103 receptions for 1,038 yards and nine touchdowns. With Waller healthy, Edwards would’ve gone into the 2022 season as the No. 4 pass-catching option in the pecking order, battling for leftover targets.
Las Vegas Raiders may use fewer three-wide receiver sets
Head coach, and offensive play-caller, Josh McDaniels has a recent history of using three-wide receiver sets at a lower frequency than a majority of the league, which means Adams and Renfrow would take the lion’s share of snaps as the most productive and accomplished wideouts on the roster.