Dave Ziegler hasn’t been shy about giving long-term security to players who have earned it. As evidenced by the Las Vegas Raiders general manager’s contract extensions with defensive end Maxx Crosby and quarterback Derek Carr recently.
The stalwart pass thrower and signal caller has put pen to paper on big deals (over four years, $94 million for Crosby, over three years, $120.5 million for Carr) to secure himself at both financially and as Raiders.
The next logical man to be extended is wide receiver Hunter Renfrow. A hard-working, outgoing player who earned the trust of Carr and the coaching staff (previous, of course), Renfrow blossomed last season leading the Raiders in every major receiving category with an impressive 103. catches, 1,038 yards, nine touchdown campaign. It was targeted 128 times with a capture rate of 80.5%. Nearly half of his 103 catches were for first downs (51), making the Third-and-Renfrow moniker well-deserved.
Locking the slot dynamo for the foreseeable future is a must-do type maneuver for the Silver & Black. Renfrow is a fifth-round homegrown talent who has become a go-to weapon in the Raiders offense. He performs his work diligently and demonstrates responsibility and efficiency, which Carr appreciates. He even responded to a tweet about how the Raiders should acquire and pay disgruntled San Francisco 49ers Deebo Samuel, referencing Renfrow.
Lol noooo sir this money is for Renfrow
— Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) April 20, 2022
Renfrow isn’t going to wow you with his 5-foot-10, 185-pound frame, but what he squeezes out of that body is exemplary. An accurate road runner who is a reliable target who can consistently create separation and find holes in the defense to provide a safe target for the quarterback, Renfrow is the type of player the team covets and wants to keep for the long term. .
Ziegler knows it.
“A very talented player. I’ve been asked about him in the past and it’s just that he’s a brave guy, knows how to open up, knows how to win on third down, has some comeback experience, is good after the catch “, said Ziegler during his Wednesday press. Raiders HQ conference in Henderson. “So, yes, Hunter is a good football player and has a lot of good elements that allow him to be successful on Sundays, which is important. And he’s a young player.
Hence the inescapable notion of a contract extension. Renfrow is 26 (he turns 27 next December) and is on an upward trajectory as a trusted target in the Raiders’ receiving game. While some may point to the absence of tight end Darren Waller and the subtraction of wide receiver Henry Ruggs III (off-field incident) from the Silver & Black passing offense as the reason Renfrow was heavily used, one does not can’t ask what he’s doing with those targets. Even if he doesn’t see the same 100-plus volume this coming season — the addition of Davante Adams as the undisputed No. 1 wide receiver and a healthy Renfrow will likely eat away at targets — Renfrow won’t make any noise. He will simply do what he does best: work.
Don’t expect Ziegler to give you insight into how a possible long-term pact is going. Moms the word from the chief decision maker of the Raider staff.
“So like I said before, when we talked, I think it was Derek [Carr] at the owners meeting, in terms of contracts and things like that, we’re always going to keep those things internal and keep those discussions private,” Ziegler said. “Hunter won’t be any different in that regard, but we’re thrilled to have him on the team. We like good receivers and, you know, he’s one of them.
Yet Ziegler said the same when asked about the lull in getting along with Carr, noting that the Raiders and Carr’s agent needed to find the right middle ground in negotiations. He was found, weeks later, as DC4 and the Raiders signed the three-year extension.
Perhaps a similar circumstance with Renfrow?
How much is it going to cost?
In the final year of his four-year rookie contract, Renfrow is expected to earn $2.5 million in base salary this season. Depending on which source you’re using – in this case OverTheCap (OTC) and Spotrac – Renfrow’s current pact has him 271 wide receivers out of 380 (OTC) or 135th on wide out (Spotrac). Based on 2021 production, he outperformed the rookie pact.
An extension may come shortly or after the 2022 campaign, and it might be beneficial for both the team and the player to see how the upcoming season goes. Player and agent are betting on improved performance over the coming year to drive the coin up or a “down” performance from Renfrow’s 2021 numbers allows the Raiders to negotiate for the sweet spot.
But it’s good to look at the projected numbers. In Renfrow’s case, Spotrac’s valuation of a new deal for the wide receiver is $17 million a year based on performance and production. The overall Project Spotrac contract is a four-year, $68.08 million contract. This is based on the average contract of other wide receivers that have produced similar numbers, according to Spotrac. That market valuation and contract would make Renfrow the No. 9 paid receiver in the league.
How accurate or close to target are Spotrac’s valuations?
The site had Derek Carr’s market value – before he signed his extension – at $37.3 million a year on a four-year, $149.325 million contract. Carr’s new three-year deal will see him earn base salaries of $32.9 million (2023), $41.9 million (2024) and $41.2 million (2025). So not too far.