2. Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders are already familiar with Michael Thomas’ cryptic tweets, and while they’re not looking for any drama, they are looking for an elite receiver.
Las Vegas – or more specifically, Derek Carr – has been gunning for Davante Adams for some time now, but if those plans fall through, Thomas isn’t a bad second choice.
Money might be a small issue, but the Raiders don’t have much time to solidify their offense before the season starts. Scraping out the rest of their dough for Thomas would be a huge risk, but it might be a risk Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock have to take to save their jobs.
Yes, the Raiders have gone down this path before, and it didn’t go so well. Two years ago, Las Vegas traded for Steelers’ star receiver Antonio Brown, and that situation went south ever since Brown arrived at Raiders training camp riding a hot-air balloon. Brown and the Raiders’ contentious relationship and ultimate fallout in 2019 makes Thomas and the Saints’ bickering look like child’s play.
But Thomas is a much milder version of Brown: still disgruntled, but not nearly as petty or high maintenance. It helps that the Raiders’ senior offensive assistant, John Morton, also served as Thomas’ receiver coach back in 2016.
It also helps that currently, none of the Raiders’ pass-targets look season ready. Going into 2021, the Raiders have the 26th ranked wide receiver room in the league according to PFF. Once-promising prospects Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards had severely disappointing rookie seasons, and new signings John Brown and Willie Snead don’t exactly ooze elite status.
Jon Gruden has made questionable receiver moves since trading away Amari Cooper, and betting on Michael Thomas could be his last chance to redeem himself.