The Raiders traded for Buffalo Bills wide receiver Zay Jones during the 2019 NFL season, and his small price tag makes him a solid value in 2020.
The wide receiver position for the Oakland Raiders in 2019 was one of the weaker parts of the roster, as the loss of Antonio Brown prior to the season caused a rippling effect for the rest of the season. Tyrell Williams was forced to be the team’s WR1, and behind him, outside of Hunter Renfrow in the slot, the Silver and Black employed a host of players at the position.
In October, the Raiders traded a fifth round pick for Buffalo Bills wide receiver Zay Jones, who was once a second round pick of the team. Jones, a record-breaking wide receiver at East Carolina finished his college career as the NCAA’s all-time leader in receptions for a career, including an NCAA record 158 in 2016.
However, he did not have the kind of impact at the NFL the Bills were hoping for, and he eventually found himself passed up on the depth chart. Needing wide receiver help, the Raiders made the trade for Jones’ services, and he ended up starting seven of the ten games he played with the team in 2019.
While Jones was not super productive for the Raiders, he carries a very small price tag entering 2020, and could actually bring great value to the position group. With Williams’ contract becoming guaranteed this past week, and Renfrow becoming a legitimate weapon late in the 2019 season, the Raiders head into the offseason with three guys who should be on the roster in Las Vegas.
According to Spotrac.com, Jones has a base salary of $1,339,522 in 2020, and if he is the No. 4 wide receiver on this team, that is great value. Of course, the Raiders could get rid of him with zero dead cap liability, so it will be interesting to see what the offseason brings for the 24-year old.
The Raiders hold two first round picks, and all the experts believe they will bring in a true WR1 to team with Williams and Renfrow atop the depth chart. In addition to Jones, Las Vegas also has guys like Rico Gafford, Keelan Doss, and Marcell Ateman fighting for a roster spot, as well as whoever they bring in this offseason.
At one point, Jones was seen as a good enough prospect to take in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He did not show out once he arrived in Oakland, but with such a small salary, and being only 24-years old, he may be someone to keep around for the 2020 NFL season and hope he can develop into a legitimate NFL wideout.