The Las Vegas Raiders are looking for a true WR1 as they enter the new league year, and Emmanuel Sanders could be a target at the position.
Last season, the Oakland Raiders figured they were all set at WR1 with Antonio Brown on the roster, as they traded some draft picks to the Pittsburgh Steelers for his services. Unfortunately for the Raiders, Brown would not even play a single down in the Silver and Black, and the only team he actually suited up for was the New England Patriots for one game.
Due to this, Tyrell Williams had to play in the WR1 slot, and while he proved to be a touchdown machine early on, injuries really de-railed his first season with the Raiders. As the team heads to their first season in Sin City as the Las Vegas Raiders, they will be looking to fill that coveted WR1 slot, and they could do so via free agency.
One name that has come up is Emmanuel Sanders, who played for both the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers last season. With the 49ers, he played a key role in the team making it all the way to the Super Bowl, and could have had a forever moment if Jimmy Garoppolo did not overthrow him late in the game.
According to Gil Brandt from NFL.com, the veteran wide receiver could be a perfect match for the Raiders in 2020. Though 33-years old, Sanders is still a very productive wide receiver, and should have a few solid years remaining.
The big question surrounding the Raiders this offseason will once again be the status of quarterback Derek Carr, who set career highs in passing yards and completion percentage in 2019. He accomplished all of this without a true WR1, so one can only imagine what he can accomplish in Year 3 of Jon Gruden’s offense with a reliable option at the top of the depth chart at wideout.
Sure, Sanders is up there in age, but Gruden’s offense got great production the last time around with older wide receivers in Tim Brown and Jerry Rice. Sanders may not be a Hall of Famer like those two guys, who he can still get it done at a high level, and has a ton of experience playing in the AFC West.
For the right price, I would not mind seeing the Raiders bring in Sanders, as he is incredibly reliable at the position, and this team needs more veteran leadership at wide receiver. It remains to be seen what the team plans to do with Carr, but a trio of Sanders, Williams, and Hunter Renfrow at the top of the depth chart at wideout, coupled with tight end Darren Waller and running back Josh Jacobs would make this offense extremely hard to defend.