The Oakland Raiders have been searching for answers at wide receiver at least since they released Antonio Brown in early September.
They may not have a long-term answer now, but they’ve got an extra lottery ticket in a one of the top receivers taken in the 2017 draft.
According to a report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the Raiders are sending a 2021 fifth-round pick to the Buffalo Bills for Zay Jones.
Jones never quite fit in with the Bills
With impressive size (6-foot-2) and speed (4.45 second 40 time), Jones has long had a world of potential, but he has yet to reach it since the Bills took him 37th overall two years ago out of East Carolina. He was the fourth receiver drafted that year after Corey Davis, Mike Williams and John Ross III and was selected immediately ahead of Curtis Samuel, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Cooper Kupp — not to mention Chris Godwin and Kenny Golladay.
After hauling in just 27 receptions for 316 yards in his rookie season, Jones improved to 46 catches for 652 yards with seven scores in 2018. But this year has been a disaster.
Jones never caught more than two passes in any of the first four games — totaling just 69 yards — and saw the field for just one snap on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. The writing has been on the wall that he doesn’t belong in the team’s future; it’s just a bit of a surprise a move happened so quickly.
The additions of John Brown and Cole Beasley, as well as the emergence of Isaiah McKenzie and Duke Williams as capable receivers made the move even easier to swallow.
Will the Raiders finally get a receiver trade right?
Trading third- and fifth-round picks to the Pittsburgh Steelers for Brown looks bad now, but that wasn’t the first time Jon Gruden and the Raiders messed up at wide receiver. Just one year earlier, they shipped a third-rounder to the Steelers for Martavis Bryant, who they cut before playing a single game with the team.
Oakland had a stud in Amari Cooper but shipped him off to the Dallas Cowboys. Meanwhile, Jordy Nelson wasn't long for the team, and fifth-rounder Hunter Renfrow only has 102 receiving yards through five games.
The Bills were expecting to get more out of Jones when they invested an early second rounder into him, but the Raiders need some results soon as they continually throw draft picks at wide receivers.
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