Hunter the Gatherer: Receiver’s unconventional type is paying off for Raiders

With one of the best tight ends in the league (Darren Waller), a Pro Bowl running back (Josh Jacobs) and a traditional full-back (Alec Ingold, from a recent knee injury), the Raiders offense has no shortage of short-yard options.

Yet her point of contact in such situations throughout the season has been an undersized recipient, many of whom were once considered too slow to make it into the NFL. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Hunter Renfrow was Las Vegas’ most dependable weapon in the first half of the season, leading the team through nine games with four touchdowns.

“He’s like Gumby,” the Raiders’ interim coach Rich Bisaccia said at a recent press conference. “It’s inviolable in a phone booth.”

The Raiders recognized Renfrow’s versatility the instant they got him out of Clemson in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, and used it in each of his first two seasons. “Third and Renfrow” became a buzzword for the team, with Las Vegas often targeting the slot receiver for third-down situations in 2019 and 2020.

Opponents knew looks designed for Renfrow were coming, but couldn’t stop them. While this continued into its third season, it might as well have a new nickname – “Red Zone Renfrow”.

The Raiders, like any other player, went to Renfrow near the goal line and made strong returns. All of his touchdowns have resulted in him senselessly itching defenders by using elaborate footwork on double or triple moves to lose cover on select routes where he has autonomy over which direction to ultimately go.

“If they trust me, I can do things within the system to change things and get a little out of my parameters,” says Renfrow. “Not too much at the same time, but I know what I can get away with. I think that’s progress towards becoming a better player every year – learning what I can get away with. “

Some of the successful hijinks Renfrow has dragged on routes in games include quasi tap dancing and fake dropping, but quarterback Derek Carr says the receiver is even more exaggerated in practice. In one-on-one exercises, when the other receivers are running conventional routes with Carr, Renfrow uses the time to “push the envelope,” the quarterback said.

Renfrow tries a few things that confuse even Carr, who has to veto some moves because they don’t work with timing and protection. But he values ​​them all.

“It’s fun coming up with these ideas, and it’s fun because it encourages my creativity,” says Carr. “He’s probably the most creative team-mate I’ve ever met.”

Carr has also called Renfrow one of the best distance runners he has ever seen, and he’s not the only one to shower him with that praise. This has long been the book on Renfrow and the main reason it got a professional inclusion in the first place, despite the fact that NFL.com’s scouting report went into the draft, which knocked it down for “lacking size and speed.”

However, Renfrow uses his frame to his advantage and is incredibly nimble to compensate for disadvantages in the game against faster defenders. He’s also adept at using his unorthodox angles and movements to get her to miss once he has the ball.

“The slot position gives you more space, so it’s sometimes easier,” says Renfrow. “You can see how the picture paints itself and you can see where the defenders are.”

To distract compliments, Vintage is Renfrow, whose quiet demeanor suits his small stature. He’s about as humble as professional athletes come.

When he got into the season, he joked that he only talked about trash a few times and “felt bad about it” afterwards. He doesn’t need to share words, however, as his skills are enough to frustrate opponents.

Renfrow made so many big games, with six catches in a Week 1 win against the Baltimore Ravens, that the defenders retaliated with a series of filthy and late hits in the eyes of the coaching staff and the raiders’ front office.

The organization filed a complaint with the NFL, and while the league did not impose disciplinary action, news of the complaint might have helped other teams not have been overly physical since then. Anyway, he stayed healthy in the middle of a breakout year.

Renfrow has drawn on his lifelong sports experience to improve this season. He cites basketball and football as the reason for his “spatial awareness” of different cover systems.

Carr and Bisaccia say it was something else from his youth that gave Renfrow a head start as a receiver: He was a stellar prep quarterback who worked at Socastee High School in Myrtle Beach, Florida under his father, coach Tim Renfrow , played. That has given Renfrow a better understanding of where to be to get the most benefit from Carr, according to Bisaccia.

Instead of going to a smaller college and continuing to play quarterback, Renfrow moved on at Clemson and became a legendary receiver. He was part of two national championship teams and got the game-winning touchdown in the title game against Alabama in 2017.

He might have profiled himself as the kind of college star who couldn’t compete in the physically faster NFL, but he quickly exceeded those expectations. He’s become more than the Raiders ever imagined.

“I think he’s one of the best all-football players in the NFL,” says Carr. “I think he’s a special talent.”

This story appeared in Las Vegas Weekly.

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Generally it is value paying somebody to deal with numerous duties and chores

Hiring a lawn care company saves time and energy for relatively low monthly costs.

davidf | E + | Getty Images

During our working years, saving for the future is crucial to one day gaining financial independence.

At the same time, we are working on other financial goals, such as paying for our children’s schooling or paying off the mortgage. However, for people with solid careers who hit their savings goals every year, it often makes sense to spend extra money on services that will make a positive difference in their lives.

My parents were both teachers, so I understand when it pays to be frugal. However, if you can afford to hire someone for these services, it is worth paying for some rather than doing them yourself.

More from Personal Finance:
Here are the plans for going back to the office
What to do with emergency cash when inflation rises?
Some summer activities can affect your taxes

Yes it will cost some money. But there are other rewards, ranging from better health to a return on your investment and more time to enjoy life. Here are five services worth considering:

1. Hire a lawn maintenance company. I have customers in their 50s who work full time and still mow their own lawn – with a push mower. It’s a great exercise, but the heat and humidity in summer can drain your energy and possibly even worse results like heat stroke.

I’ve encouraged these clients to hire a regular landscape maintenance service, which can often cost $ 200 or more a month. The service staff mow the garden, cut the hedges, remove leaves and debris, and do other jobs in a fraction of the time it takes my customers to do these tasks. These expenses are so minor that they are unlikely to see any impact on your monthly budget. However, you will notice the time savings.

2. Work with a travel agent for vacation planning. Instead of searching the internet for hours, a good one Travel agency is experienced in finding the best deals and value for money for almost any travel destination. Her expertise includes researching and suggesting places to reach your destinations for these experiences, as well as arranging flights, accommodation, airport transfers and excursions while on vacation. A private chef or personal concierge can also be part of your recommended vacation plan.

I realize that some people are reluctant to work with a travel agent. You may ask, why the additional cost? But because of their knowledge and expertise, a good broker can help keep total costs down and possibly even save you money. And unlike the Internet, a travel agency is often available to help you with problems during your trip, especially when you are traveling abroad.

3. Grocery collection, delivery and ready meals. Since the pandemic, many retailers have been much more focused on helping customers who don’t like shopping in person. While grocery chains charge a fee for roadside pickup or delivery, it’s a small amount for convenience.

There are also several online companies that deliver ready-made meals to your home. These meals contain fresh ingredients that are ready to cook. For people who don’t like to cook every night, this alternative offers healthy eating at a reasonable price. Grocery deliveries are also an advantage when on vacation.

4. Hire a business coach. This may not be a necessary investment for a seasoned executive who has built a stable career. Still, some of my successful executive clients have hired a coach, and so have I. I refer to him as my “business therapist”.

A good coach can create clarity about career opportunities, overcome hurdles, achieve personal and professional goals and help reduce stress. For example, my coach helped me set up a 10-year plan for public speaking and writing and publishing books. So far I’ve published two books and a third will come out later this year.

Coaches can charge a few hundred dollars an hour or a flat fee for a series of coaching sessions. Hiring a coach is usually more effective when it becomes a long-term, regular relationship.

5. Tax preparation and planning. As a financial planner, I understand how taxes work and advise my clients on tax strategies. But for more than 10 years I have been using an auditor to prepare my taxes.

I just don’t want to spend many hours over several days collecting tax records, researching expenses, making sure I’ve researched every nuanced tax law that may benefit me and other tedious tasks. It’s worth the money to pay an accountant, especially one that I know can do the job.

And while the payment to an accountant can be anywhere from $ 1,000 to $ 5,000 per year depending on the complexity of your situation, part of the accountant’s job is to save money by advising you on tax cut strategies or asking for the right tax-related information .

A recently retired customer made the mistake of paying her own taxes. She made more than $ 1.5 million in her last year at work and decided to take care of her own taxes over time. After several frustrating days of trying to learn what to do – fearing she might make a mistake that could cost several thousand dollars – she crawled back to her CPA.

If there is a task that you do not want to do yourself, most likely there is a service that will take care of it. For example, I am so reluctant to buy a new car that I put it off for five years. Finally, early last year, when my sport utility vehicle covered 250,000 miles, I decided it was time to buy it.

I could have used a car purchase service for this job. Fortunately, my husband jumped in and did anything a service would do. For several weeks he visited different car dealerships to test cars.

Then he came home one Friday and said, “I found your car. They’ll keep it for you at the dealership.” I stopped what I was doing, went there to test the car, and bought it.

This is how you buy a new car now.

Of course, before you can consider spending money on additional services now, you need to meet your long-term savings goals first. The discussion of what additional services to add should be part of your financial plan and budget each year, as should your savings goals.

– By Lisa Brown, partner and investment advisor at Brightworth

Covid customers did nice job paying bank card debt. It will probably’t final

Santiaga | iStock | Getty Images

Ask a consumer expert what would happen with credit card loan balances during a recession and the answer wouldn’t be that balances decline sharply and Americans avoid a wave of card delinquencies.

But that’s what happened during the pandemic year. Helped by government stimulus and limited to spending on necessary goods rather than discretionary items, consumers bucked economic downturn history when it comes to credit card debt.

It’s been an upside down credit environment,” said Stephen Biggar, who covers financial institutions at Argus Research. “If you told me the market was going to crash 40% and we would have 20% unemployment, you would have also said card delinquency rates would go through the roof, particularly for the lower-end consumer.”

The savings rate spiked to a level not seen since World War II, and that caused consumers to take the cash they had and pay down debt — and often the first kind of debt they paid down was cards, which have among the highest interest rates, averaging 16%. 

According to Experian, from Q3 2019 to Q3 2020, credit card balances fell 24%. Among active credit card holders right before the pandemic, 58% carried a balance month-to-month, an interest-rich pool for card issuers that is now down to a record low of 53%, according to the American Bankers Association.

“Lots of people made lots of progress paying down debt and we would not have thought that at the outset of the pandemic,” said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com.

But even paying down significant debt, the average balance on a card is still above $5,000, and there are signs the pay-down surprise may be nearing a reversal.

“I think we are at the tail end of that,” Biggar said. “Once government stimulus ends, then we get a consumer mostly on their own holding their debt capabilities up.”

Government stimulus checks that came in multiple batches are slowing, though child tax credits to those at lower-income levels and unemployment tax refunds continue. Enhanced unemployment already has been ended in many states and will end in early September for the rest.

And, most importantly, consumers want to spend.

$2 trillion in ‘forced savings’ ready to be unleashed

“There is a lot of money, a lot of savings and they are out spending it,” Rick Caruso, founder and CEO of real estate company Caruso & Co. which develops malls and resorts, recently told CNBC. “They’re shopping, dining, they are going to the movies and they are doing it consistently. $2 trillion of ‘forced savings’ is just starting to get unleashed.” 

For now, consumers still have leverage and the cautious financial habits formed during the pandemic remain in evidence.

Payment rates continue to be high given the trillions in cash and savings. Loan growth in the card industry is down double-digits in most consumer assets over the past year since, according to Kevin Barker, a Piper Sandler senior research analyst covering consumer finance companies, and savings rates are still double the run rate pre-pandemic.

The course of the highly contagious delta variant remains a wildcard in this picture as well with a recent estimate that as many as one million Americans are being infected daily. But there are some signs that the priority consumers have made of paying down debt during the pandemic is beginning to give way to a focus on spending again, including travel and entertainment, as stimulus is wound down. “There is a feeling now that perhaps we are staring to see a reversal, the early stages of it,” Rossman said.

A Creditcards.com survey found 44% of people saying they are willing to take on debt in the second half of 2021 for non-essential purchases, which are mostly out of the home activities such as dining.

The Federal Reserve’s G.19 report covering consumer credit for the month of May found that credit card balances went up 11% from April to May, the largest jump in five years, on an annualized basis. 

“Either old habits die hard or new habits take hold and consumers continue to say ‘let’s pay down even more debt,” Rossman said. “I want to say it’s the latter as a consumer advocate,” but he added that history doesn’t give him confidence.

The historical pattern that played out around the Great Recession a decade ago reinforces the theory that it takes a big crisis to bring credit card debt down, and that it won’t last. Credit card balances fell 20% from 2007-2014, but from 2014-2019, balances rose by 41%, according to NY Fed household credit data.

“The point is, the same thing will happen this time, but much more rapidly. It’s one area where consumers don’t want a V-shaped recovery,” Rossman said.

Where bank CEOs think economy, consumer debt is headed

“The pump is primed,” JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said during the Wall Street bank’s recent earnings call. “The consumer, their house value is up, their stocks up, their incomes are up, their savings are up, their confidence up.”

Asked by analysts where loan growth and payment rates are headed, Wells Fargo chief financial officer Mike Santomassimo said activity “has really picked up” but it hasn’t translated into bigger loan volumes given the payment rates. “Payment rates are still really high, and I think they’ll come down and normalize eventually.”

Card issuers make money on card transactions, but loans are the bigger part of the equation. And because interest rates on credit cards are so high relative to other loans, it plays a big role in the key bank metric of net interest margin.

From a consumer perspective, the message is to keep that momentum going. … resist the temptation to put a fancy vacation on a credit card. It’s no fun to pay 16%.

Ted Rossman, Creditcards.com senior analyst

Credit card businesses have net interest margin as high as 10% versus the average bank debt at 3%, though defaults are historically significantly higher than other loans. And unlike other forms of debt, the average rate charged to customer stays at 16% even when underlying rates come down.

“Diversified banks face pressure on mortgages and other interest rate products but you are not going to find a 13% interest rate credit card,” Biggar said.

In fact, in recent years the margin on cards has been “creeping up,” according to Rossman, with a prime rate at 3%. 

At Bank of America, the number of cards outstanding hasn’t changed notably, but there is roughly $20 billion less in balances. “People didn’t get any different,” Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan told analysts after its earnings. “They just have more cash. And so they paid off their credit cards, which is a completely responsible thing for them to do.”

“When they can get out and spend more money, which is starting to happen, I think you’ll see them use these lines, short-term purchases,” Moynihan told analysts. “Yes, the pay rate’s up, but I don’t think it’s a fundamental difference of behavior. It’s just the opportunity to use the cards for activity has been limited coming into this quarter when you finally saw things open. So we’ll see where it goes, but the good news is it’s going in different direction.”

Card business in a ‘sweet spot’

Banks need the consumer to be strong, and in fact, the silver lining of the debt pay down phenomenon during the pandemic was the stronger credit profile of banks, with the surprisingly low level of card charge-offs and excess reserves on the balance sheet.

“The pandemic played out well for card companies,” Barker said. “The losses they anticipated didn’t materialize and credit performance is a primary driver for these stocks.”

“Card businesses are in a sweet spot,” Biggar added. “Some of these estimates will be moving up dramatically when these guys beat a quarter by $7.71 versus $4.61, like Capital One did. Its almost a $3 beat.”

From a valuation perspective, and given the reserve levels, the card-focused financial stocks are trading at peak price to book value.

“High payment rates are continuing to contribute to strikingly strong credit results,” Richard Fairbank, CEO of Capital One Financial, which similar to rival Discover Financial has a much more concentrated business in cards than the more diversified Wall Street banks, told analysts. “We actually are always happy when our customers are paying at high levels, and it’s indicative of a healthy consumer, and those high payment rates correlate with the really strong credit results that we continue to see.”

For Capital One, domestic card purchase volume for the second quarter was up 48% from the second quarter of 2020, but the card charge-off rate for the quarter was 2.28%, a 225-basis-point improvement year over year.

A behavioral shift and acceleration of card usage

For the banks, the current level of financial responsibility is not necessarily the most profitable. And the banks are betting that the consumer cash cushion won’t last forever, and people will take on more debt to spend.

“That is the most likely next phase of the credit cycle,” Barker said. “We are seeing spending up 20% in some categories. Right now, the default is to go with the historical pattern and the consumer goes back to way it was.”

A bigger behavioral shift in the way people treat debt or how they spend money can’t be ruled out, Barker said, but he added, “They want to spend and travel a certain way and they will do it because that’s the way they operated for a long time.”

The monthly numbers show an easing in payment rates, but Capital One’s Fairbank stopped short of saying it’s a trend.

“It would be a natural thing that payment rates would ease a little bit here and that also credit metrics would move toward normalizing a little bit. I would say we’ve seen the earliest of indications of that still running at really quite a breathtaking level,” Fairbank said. He told analysts that while the timing of the trend remains speculative, the direction is clear: “There’s really only one way for the credit to go from here.”

The cyclical pattern implies that people who have jobs take on more debt, and then might lose a job and have more trouble paying back, and credit loss rates return closer to normal.

“I don’t think it goes back to 2019 consumer loss levels, the consumer is in pretty good shape,” Biggar said. “But at the lower levels there is always churn. Every day it is harder to make ends meet and inflation is a huge topic, from car prices to home prices to food prices and gas prices. Everywhere you look it’s problematic for lower income levels. The default rates moves back up.”

One major pandemic change is likely to be permanent, and is going to serve as a tailwind for the card business. Card spending accelerated during the pandemic relative to cash and checks, and though that was a secular trend already in place, like many pandemic shifts linked to technology and digital, it accelerated. That was beneficial for many companies in the payments space, from PayPal and Square to Visa and Mastercard and the card issuers.

“Aside from the cyclical aspect of credit losses, we’re just seeing enormous opportunity in cards. Lots of teenagers never carry cash any more,” Biggar said.

Risks to aggressive card companies and to the consumer

Card marketing and competition is getting more aggressive, and CEOs like Capital One’s Fairbank are preparing for it.

“We see competition heating up all around us, especially in rewards. … you see it in the marketing and the media activity. We see it in direct mail numbers. We see it in the rewards offerings and the heating up of some of that. The competition is intense right now …. but it’s not yet irrational,” Fairbank said.

Analysts say there is a big opportunity in the card space and the big banks, while having made major gains in trading and investment banking and other businesses in the past year — while being more cautious on cards given expectations of defaults — now see the growth and the higher net interest margin from cards at a time when the charge off rates are historically low, and are unlikely to double or triple in a good economy, which translates into an opportunity.

“The big banks may not be as aggressive as card companies like Capitol One or Discover, but JP Morgan won’t fall asleep at the switch with its credit card business either. Wells Fargo is coming out with more offers. It’s a big pie and I think there is lots of room for growth,” Biggar said.

“We’re clearly seeing more competition, being aggressive going after accounts right now, because if you are a card lender you are looking at a consumer who has a high savings rates, income is higher and is a better credit counterparty more likely to pay you back,” Barker said. “And they are being more aggressive because the industry is awash in capital looking for a way to be spent and for the best way to grow. “

With the bets being placed by both card companies and consumers at a time when a lot of the data is atypical and after an unprecedented year, there are risks on both sides.

How the consumer spending normalizes in the years ahead is an unknown, as is the strength of the economy and direction in rates, which can trip up both the banking sector and consumers.

If rates rise too quickly the consumer could quickly be back in a tough spot, but banks have a vested interest in making sure consumers are doing well because they need those loans to be paid back.

“The longer this persists, the more competition will likely be to extrapolate these trends to inform their decision making,” Fairbank told analysts. “And this can embolden them to make more aggressive offers, market more intensely and a particular one I worry about, loosening underwriting standards. And in this particular environment, the benign rearview mirror could encourage lenders to reach for growth. And it could be exacerbated by credit modeling that relies on consumer credit data that, frankly, may be very unique to the downturn and not as good for predicting where credit performance is going to be over time.”

That’s a potential problem for banks, and their shareholders, but also for the consumer.

The real sweet spot, and the most profitable for the card issuers, is if consumers carry debt month-to-month as they pay the banks back. All the outstanding balances are not good for the banks if they have to write them off, or if consumers continue to pay balances in full every month, but if consumers are making minimum payments it provides banks the interest month after month that is the most profitable way for them to get paid back.

“The longer you take, the more money they make. If people are spending freely and running up debt, even if it’s not the wisest thing for consumers, it’s probably the most likely,” Rossman said. “From a consumer perspective, the message is to keep that momentum going. If you paid down debt from $6,200 to $5,300, bring it lower still; resist the temptation to put a fancy vacation on a credit card. It’s no fun to pay 16%.”

It’s a hard message to make stick. “I would like to see the newfound frugality last, but we’ve seen this in the past,” Rossman said.

Cash myths: Bank cards, paying off balances, avoiding curiosity and saving

CHICAGO (WLS) – Are you making the right choice when it comes to choosing and using a credit card – or money in general? The I-Team reveals, according to a recent poll of “money myths” Loan tree.

Myth number 1:

Almost half (45%) of Americans believe that having some credit on their credit card will improve their credit score! The truth is, it has the potential to hurt you!

Myth number 2:

Thirty percent of people thought it was bad to use a credit card and it was better to use cash or a debit card to make payments. However, there is nothing wrong with using a credit card when you are withdrawing funds and avoiding interest.

In fact, using a credit card can provide the greatest protection when you need to contest a charge.

Myth number 3:

More than 20% of Americans believe that you don’t have to start saving for retirement until after you are 40 years old. However, experts say you should get to work right away, even if it is a small amount.

Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All rights reserved.

Nikola is paying $8.1 million in authorized charges for ousted chairman Milton

Trevor Milton, CEO and Founder of US Nikola, speaks during a presentation of his new all-electric and hydrogen fuel cell battery truck in collaboration with CNH Industrial at an event on December 2, 2019 in Turin, Italy.

Massimo Pinca | Reuters

Start of the competitive electric vehicle Nikola pays $ 8.1 million in legal fees for ousted founder and chairman Trevor Milton, who left the company in September over a short seller fraud case that led to federal investigations.

This helped increase the company’s legal expenses to $ 27.5 million last year. The majority of that, $ 24.7 million, was spent answering regulatory investigations and other legal disputes related to the US state Claims by Hindenburg ResearchNikola said in his annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.

According to the company, around $ 1.5 million in Milton’s legal fees were paid in 2020. The start-up lost $ 384.3 million last year, including $ 147.1 million in the fourth quarter, it said on Thursday. Adjusted pre-tax loss for 2020 was $ 200.5 million.

As part of the result, Nikola also lowered delivery expectations for its first product, called Tre Semitruck, from 600 this year to 50-100 due to supplier issues. The company’s shares fell at $ 19.72 each during after-hours trading after Thursday’s close Share, down 6.8% for the day.

“The pandemic has caused significant supply chain disruption,” Nikola CEO Mark Russell said during a call for earnings, specifically referring to a shortage of battery cells to power his vehicles.

A Nikola spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the company will attempt to recoup Milton’s legal fees. In his filing, Nikola said the fees were part of his compensation agreement with the company. Additional legal costs are expected this year related to the Hindenburg report, which led to investigations by the SEC and the Justice Department.

“We incurred significant costs due to the regulatory and legal issues surrounding the Hindenburg article,” Nikola said in the filing. “The total cost of these matters will depend on many factors, including the duration of these matters and the determination made.”

Hindenburg accused Milton from make false statements about Nikolas technology to grow the company and cooperate with auto companies. The report, entitled “Nikola: How to Partner an Ocean of Lies with America’s Largest Automaker,” was released two days later The company announced a contract with General Motors that made both companies’ stocks soar in September. It characterized Nikola as “an intricate fraud based on dozens of lies” by Milton.

Nikola has denied and denied many of the allegations, but the company confirmed one of Hindenburg’s biggest claims – that it staged a video showing a truck that appeared to be functional but not working.

An internal investigation by Kirkland & Ellis LLP into statements made by Milton and the Company during this period has “substantially been completed”. The Chicago-based law firm has not reached a conclusion whether statements that may have been inaccurate when filed are against any law, the company said.