The Raiders receiver corps fell into disrepair last season, after Amari Cooper was traded, Jordy Nelson was battling knee issue and several veteran subs ended up on injured reserve.
A complete positional overhaul was required. That has happened quickly, with two major additions in a less than a week.
The Raiders traded for elite receiver Antonio Brown on Saturday night. Then they agreed on terms of a contract with former L.A. Chargers wideout Tyrell Williams, a soure confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area. ESPN's Adam Schefter was first to report the news. The Raiders made the deal official Wednesday night.
Schefter reports the Raiders are giving Williams a four-year contract worth $44 million.
Raiders giving former Chargers WR Tyrell Williams a four-year, $44 million deal with a max value of $47M that includes $22M guaranteed, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2019
Williams was one of the top receivers available in free agency. He’s 6-foot-4, 205 pounds and runs like the wind. He had a 1,000-yard season in 2015 and has produced steadily ever since. He had 41 catches for 653 yards and five touchdowns on 65 targets, and averaged 15.9 yards per reception.
He’s a dynamic No. 2 option behind Brown, a clear-cut No. 1, and one of the NFL’s best receivers. The Raiders passing game has the talent required to produce steadily and show vast improvement over a 2018 unit devoid of speed outside tight end Jared Cook that averaged just 234 yards per game.
Nelson would be a solid No. 3 if he is retained. The Raiders paid his 2019 roster bonus in the 2018 season. The team would save $3.5 million in cap space but incur $1.8 million in dead money. His salary becomes fully guaranteed on Friday.
The Raiders could also let Seth Roberts go this offseason. He’s scheduled to make $4.65 million in 2019, and none of it is guaranteed.
The Brown-Williams combination is dangerous in its own right, and gives quarterback Derek Carr excellent weapons in the pattern. It looks better (on paper, anyway) that the Michael Crabtree-Amari Cooper duo from 2016, when both guys exceeded 1,000 yards.