Hunter Renfrow

Extra Points: Ebron, Lions, Renfrow

The Eric Ebron story took another twist this week, as his camp responded to the recent reports of disconnect between the tight end and the Colts. Soon after Ebron was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury, we heard that the Colts weren’t too happy with how everything played out. Indy’s head coach Frank Reich seemed to dispute Ebron’s account that the team was well-aware of his ankle issue, and said he had no idea anything was wrong. Ebron’s camp is now pushing back, with a source close to the UNC product telling Ian Rapoport of NFL Network that Reich “should not have been surprised” (Twitter link).

The source added that Ebron informed the Colts of his ankle issue prior to the season, and that he “took toradol shots for the injury before almost every game he played.” The implication from Indianapolis seemed to be that Ebron was essentially choosing to save himself for his impending free agency, and his camp obviously isn’t pleased with that narrative. As Stephen Holder of The Athletic summarizes in a tweet, this means that Reich is either “blatantly lying when he said he was blind sided,” or Ebron “was able to practice most of the season on a terribly painful ankle.” It’ll be interesting to see if this under the radar controversy impacts Ebron’s market this spring. The tenth overall pick of the 2014 draft had a huge first year in Indy, but had been a bit of a disappointment this season before going on IR. Given the sudden animosity between the two sides, it seems likely that he isn’t back with the Colts in 2020.

Here’s more from around the league on a quiet Saturday night:

  • It doesn’t look like Matthew Stafford is going to play for the Lions again in 2019, so his back injury is obviously legitimate. However, the league has taken issue with how Detroit went about reporting it. Stafford was a surprise scratch late in the week leading up to the team’s game against the Bears back on November 10th, and the league has determined the team was trying to gain a competitive advantage by being coy with the info. The league office has fined the organization $75K, head coach Matt Patricia $25K, and GM Bob Quinn $10K, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link).
  • When Raiders rookie receiver Hunter Renfrow went down with a rib injury and a punctured lung a couple of weeks ago, it initially looked like he’d miss the rest of the season. However, that might not be the case, per Scott Bair of NBC Sports. Renfrow hasn’t been placed on IR, and the team is holding out hope he’ll be able to return toward the end of the year. “We’re hopeful that he could return for the last game or two,” Oakland head coach Jon Gruden said, per Bair. Renfrow had really started to heat up before going down, so he would provide a big boost. The Raiders have gotten blown out in two straight games, but are still right in the thick of a very muddled AFC wildcard race at 6-6. Whether or not they’re still in the hunt for a playoff spot in the final week or two will likely determine whether or not they bring the Clemson product back.

Hunter Renfrow Out For Season?

Hunter Renfrow suffered a scary injury Sunday and may not return this season. The rookie slot target suffered a puncture lung and a broken rib in the loss to the Jets, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, and Jon Gruden is not sure if the Clemson product will return in 2019.

Gruden acknowledged Renfrow may be done for the season (Twitter link). More tests are scheduled, but that would obviously be a blow to a resurgent Raiders team with designs on a playoff berth. The Raiders will travel to Kansas City in Week 13.

The fifth-round rookie took hard hits from Jet defenders Bless Austin and Henry Anderson and left the game. Renfrow still led all Raider receivers with three receptions for 31 yards in the 34-3 rout.

In the wake of Antonio Brown‘s bizarre Raiders stretch, Renfrow helped the team’s passing game recover. He has 36 receptions for 396 yards and two touchdowns. Only Tyrell Williams has more receiving yards than Renfrow among Raiders this season. The team will need to turn to trade acquisitions Zay Jones and Trevor Davis, along with potentially rookie Keelan Doss, more after this news.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Goodwin, Texans, Raiders

A handful of NFL players participated in last weekend’s “40 Yards of Gold” contest, but it sounds like all the participants are still awaiting their promised payout. Agent Will Sarubbi, who represents Vikings wideout Jeff Badet, told Ben Fischer of the Sports Business Daily that his client hasn’t received his promised $25K.

“The contract was explicitly clear,” Sarubbi said. “Jeff was an independent contractor who was promised $25,000 upon arrival, before the event on June 29. That has not been paid as of 5 p.m. today. It does not look likely it will be, based on the correspondence we have had.”

According to the report, players were given checks following the event, but they were told to wait to cash those checks until yesterday. Then, the players were told to ignore the checks and submit bank account information, at which time their payout would be sent via wire transfer. However, that money has yet to appear.

“As to whether the money’s there or not, I don’t know,” said agent Sean Lindsey. “I hope it is. The one thing I despise the most in this industry is individuals trying to take advantage of professional athletes. I don’t know if that’s what’s going on here. I hope not. But these guys need to get paid.”

49ers wideout Marquise Goodwin won the event and was set to take home the $1MM prize.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFL…

  • Former undrafted free agent Vyncint Smith had some standout moments as a rookie, and the Texans receiver is looking to take a step forward during his sophomore campaign. In fact, the 23-year-old said he’s already worked out with quarterback Deshaun Watson this offseason. “Oh yeah, we got together last summer,” Smith told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “We get together this summer to throw, build chemistry in a new environment or different environment with Deshaun and just have fun.” Smith appeared in seven games (one start) as a rookie, hauling in five receptions for 91 yards and one touchdown.
  • Raiders receiver Hunter Renfrow may have been selected in the fifth round of this past year’s draft, but that doesn’t mean the rookie can’t play a big role this season. Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area writes that Renfrow’s savviness and football IQ should help him carve out a role as a slot receiver. However, if the rookie proves that he’s not able to contribute right away, he could easily get passed by veteran Ryan Grant on the depth chart.
  • It sounds like rookie running back Josh Jacobs may sit out training camp, as his camp’s negotiations with the organization have not been going well.

Raiders Sign 5 Of 9 Draft Picks

The Raiders already have the majority of their draft class under contract. The following players have signed (all links to go Twitter):

Johnson, a converted wide receiver, notched two interceptions in each of his final two seasons at Houston. Heading into the draft, there was some buzz about him going as high as the second round, so the Raiders were undoubtedly thrilled to land him in the fourth.

Boy, we love him,” GM Mike Mayock said after the draft. “We’re a press corner team. Jimmy O’Neil, our defensive backs coach, he’s happier than I’ve ever seen him. So now we have some long, press corners that go along with Gareon and everybody else that we have. Gareon Conley, Daryl Worley, and all our guys. Bottom line, we’re ecstatic with those corners.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Acquire No. 149 From Cowboys

The Raiders made the decision to make a slight move up in Round 5, and the Cowboys will receive an additional seventh-round pick in this deal.

In moving up to No. 149 from No. 158, the Raiders dealt No. 218 to the Cowboys. Clemson wide receiver Hunter Renfrow became Oakland’s eighth pick in this draft.

Largely a slot contributor to both of Clemson’s recent national championship teams, Renfrow finished his career as a four-year cog in the Tigers’ offense. He totaled 186 receptions for 2,133 yards and 15 touchdowns in college, including a rather notable game-winning reception from Deshaun Watson as a sophomore. He will join a Raiders team that has overhauled its receiver group.

Renfrow will attempt to carve out a role on the Raiders. He joins Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, J.J. Nelson and Ryan Grant among the new talent coming to work with Derek Carr.