Raiders Consider Henry Ruggs “Next to Untouchable” in Any Trade For Julio Jones

Julio Jones is expected to have a new team within the next week or so, but according to ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez, the Raiders are all but determined to stand by Henry Ruggs III, even at the cost of missing out on Jones.

“The Raiders have roughly $6 million in cap space and still have to sign a majority of their draft class. Plus, while Jones would be an upgrade over anyone in its receiver room, Las Vegas is committed to Henry Ruggs III taking the next step. He is next to untouchable, and you figure the Falcons would want him in a trade.”

Gutierrez didn’t directly say the Falcons are after Ruggs, but it’s fair to wonder if he knows more about the Raiders/Falcons trade conversations than what he offered in his column.

After an up-and-down rookie season, it would make sense for the Raiders to be a little down on Ruggs, but there is no question that he opens up the offense for Derek Carr’s underneath throws. The Raider offense was vastly improved in 2020 and there is no question that Ruggs’ impact goes well beyond the box scores.

As far as the Raiders’ reported interest in Jones, it sounds like the message coming out of the organization is that they view themselves as too limited in terms of cap space to make a serious run at the Falcons’ All-Pro wide receiver. In reality, if they really wanted Jones, the Raiders would find a way to move around money (Carr’s contract can be easily adjusted to create cap room) to get him.

The salary cap can always be manipulated.

Vic Tafur on Twitter: “The salary cap is never a reason not to get something done, just an excuse. / Twitter”

The salary cap is never a reason not to get something done, just an excuse.

As of now, the Raiders plan to roll out Ruggs, Bryan Edwards, and John Brown at the top of their wide receiver depth chart. It’s a talented group, but largely unproven. Going into his fourth year as head coach (and essentially GM, too), Jon Gruden probably envisioned a little more stability at wide receiver than what he has now… but he can rest a little easier knowing he has arguably the best pass-catching tight end in the league.

twitter: @raidersbeat


7 thoughts on “Raiders Consider Henry Ruggs “Next to Untouchable” in Any Trade For Julio Jones

  1. I would think so,considering where he was drafted and the fact that he’s 10 years younger than Jones.

  2. For once, the Raiders are making the right decision by regarding Ruggs as all but untouchable. To quote the late Al Davis; “The greatness of the Raiders is their future.” Given that logic, the Raiders should pass on trying to acquire Aaron Rodgers and pursue DeShaun Watson because irrespective of his legal troubles, Watson is 25 years old and has a considerable upside as opposed to Rodgers. Let it be said right now that I love Aaron Rodgers professionalism and abilities however he is decidedly on the downside of his football career in terms of age only. Therefore, “The future,” according to Al Davis’ logic would be to pursue DeShaun Watson. Surely, I don’t need to point out Al Davis’ penchant for bringing players to the Raiders that other teams considered to have “suspect character issues” and get the most out of them. See Randy Moss and Lyle Alzado.

  3. Not a big fan of Ruggs to be honest. But even less of a fan of overpaying a 32 year old wide receiver who is coming off a series of injuries and whose best years are far behind him. Jones makes a lot of money AND the Falcons want premium draft picks for him. No thanks. Given the cap room he would absorb, the Raiders shouldn’t offer more than a fourth or fifth round pick. My guess is a deal hasn’t been done because every other team in the NFL looks at this exactly the same way. I hope Ruggs puts it together this season, but even if he doesn’t he’s got a lot more football in front of him than Jones. He can be a serviceable player in the league, even if not worth the #12 overall pick.

    1. Maybe, but enough brains to stay clear of someone who only has injury years left

  4. With respect to Granville Friel’s comment about the Raiders having “no balls,” I say why not bring in Le’Veon Bell for a tryout? Gruden has brought in everyone else so why not Bell and what do the Raiders have to lose if they do? Gruden love veterans and Bell would just absolutely love playing against the Steelers who are on the Raiders schedule this year. A one year prove it contract is what Gruden gave Nelson Agholor and look how that turned out.

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