Sources: Bills shipping WR Zay Jones to Raiders

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Tuesday, October 8, 2019
ESPN

TheBuffalo Billsare trading wide receiver Zay Jones to the Raiders for a 2021 fifth-round pick, sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Jones, 24, was drafted by the Bills in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft out of East Carolina. He led the team in all major receiving categories in 2018, but he failed to make an impact in 2019 after the team signed receivers John Brown and Cole Beasley during the offseason.

His 69 yards on seven catches this season ranks fifth on the team, and his receptions per game, yards per reception, yards per game and targets per game are all career-low marks for the former second-round pick.

Buffalo called up practice squad receiver Duke Williams in Week 5 and immediately inserted him into Jones' role. Williams out snapped Jones 51-1 against the Titans on Sunday, catching four passes for 29 yards and the game-winning touchdown.

While Bills coach Sean McDermott said he wanted to temper the expectations for Williams after the game, the trade suggests the Bills are prepared to move forward with Williams in his current role.

The Raiders, meanwhile, have needed depth at receiver since the ill-fated Antonio Brown experiment went awry before the season even started.

On Sunday, in the absence of the injured duo of Tyrell Williams and J.J. Nelson, the Raiders fielded a no-name receiver corps comprised of the recently acquired Trevor Davis, fifth-round draft pick Hunter Renfrow, undrafted rookie and "Hard Knocks" standoutKeelan Doss and practice squad call-up Marcell Ateman.

And while they were able to ride their offensive line and rookie running back Josh Jacobs to victory over the stunned Chicago Bears in London, it was obvious the Raiders need numbers at the receiver position going forward. Given Jones' 4.45 time in the 40, he addresses the need for another speedy wideout.

Raiders general manager Mike Mayock was also a fan of Jones coming out of college when he worked as a draft analyst at NFL Network. He had Jones as his fourth-ranked wide receiver in the 2017 draft, ahead of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Cooper Kupp.

ESPN's Marcel Louis-Jacques and Paul Gutierrez contributed to this report.