NFL free agency is three weeks away. With the arrival of the Raiders’ new brain trust of Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler, the team is facing more questions than answers. Many NFL analysts and writers agree that the Las Vegas Raiders’ two biggest needs in 2022 are wide receiver and offensive line.
At this point, it is unclear whether the Raiders will choose to sign players to fill in these holes or draft them, but one thing is certain: help is on the way. But could that help come in the form of any former Raiders?
Here are two former Raiders with connections to the team’s new regime who may be on their way back to Las Vegas.
WR Nelson Agholor
The Raiders signed WR Nelson Agholor to a one-year deal before the start of the 2020 season. His connection with QB Derek Carr was immediate and undeniable. In Las Vegas, Agholor had a career year.
Agholor caught 48 passes for 896 yards and eight receiving touchdowns in 2020, per Pro Football Reference. He averaged 10.9 yards per target and, remarkably, had an 85-yard reception. Carr and Agholor played the type of football that sparked a fire for the Raiders. Many were convinced Agholor would see a contract extension after his impressive season, but much to their surprise, the Raiders let Agholor walk.
Agholor played for the New England Patriots in 2021. He caught 37 passes for 473 yards and three touchdowns. It was clear his connection with rookie QB Mac Jones was nothing compared to his connection with Derek Carr.
The seven-year veteran has one year remaining on his contract in New England, but that doesn’t mean much considering the shakeup in New England this offseason. Along with bringing in McDaniels, the Raiders have also retained Raiders wide receiver coach Edgar Bennett. Agholor’s familiarity with both coaches, Derek Carr, and the Raiders organization, combined with the Raiders’ need for a wide receiver, may make an Agholor trade more of a possibility than a farfetched thought.
RT Trent Brown
As controversial as it may be, the Raiders are in desperate need of a right tackle and Trent Brown’s expertise, as well as his familiarity with McDaniels and the Raiders, may lead him back to Sin City.
Trent Brown formerly played with the Raiders for two seasons in 2019 and 2020. His proneness to injury and his COVID-fueled struggles allowed him to play in just 16 games over the two-season period. His unavailability was frustrating for many, leading to his departure ahead of the 2021 season.
Like Agholor, Brown found a home in New England for the 2021 season. He played in nine games, missing many due to a right calf injury. When he was on the field, he dominated.
Brown is a Pro Bowl right tackle who receives extremely high praise around the league. Brown received a 78.7 overall grade per PFF in 2021. His pass blocking was also dominant, earning him an 81.2 grade. Brown allowed just one sack in 2021 and drew zero penalties.
Brown’s experience and familiarity with the franchise and its coaches may be exactly what the Raiders’ young offensive line needs. Trent Brown is a free agent this offseason, meaning he may bring his talents may return to Las Vegas for the Raiders and McDaniels in 2022.
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