Raiders quarterback Derek Carr didn’t link up much with Zay Jones after the receiver was acquired in a midseason trade. The former Buffalo Bill took some time to get situated, but he didn’t receive a ton of targets even after receiving tons of snaps.
Jones only had 20 catches on 27 targets in 10 games as a Raider despite averaging 46 offensive snaps per game. Those numbers suggest a lack of chemistry between an established quarterback and a receiver new on the Raiders scene.
The pair are working on that now, during downtime in the NFL calendar and when large gatherings are prohibited due to the coronavirus pandemic. Even if these were normal circumstances, players can't work together at training facilities during a dead period prior to the start of offseason programs. OTAs and team-organized strength and conditioning work could be canceled altogether as people in most states are encouraged to shelter in place.
Carr and Jones have worked together often in recent days in the Las Vegas area. The videos posted on Carr’s Instagram page suggest they’re building chemistry and trust that could be applied to training camp and the regular season.
Carr has been adding Instagram stories of the two prepping for workouts over the past few days but posted several longer videos Thursday showing the two connecting well.
Jones is a smooth route runner with solid potential but he will have to compete for playing time in 2020 and might have to battle for a spot on the depth chart.
Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow are locks, with free agent signing Nelson Agholor in the mix as well. The Raiders are expected to add a receiver in the NFL draft’s first round and possibly another later in the selection process. Keelan Doss and Marcell Ateman also will be in the mix as the Raiders try to improve a receiver corps that wasn’t good enough last season.
The Raiders acquired Jones on Oct. 8, 2019, for a 2021 fifth-round pick.