Following the release of Jordy Nelson on Thursday, Antonio Brown and Williams are the Raiders' top options at wide receiver, Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Mike Mayock is making a splash as a first-time GM, agreeing to terms of a trade for Antonio Brown this past weekend and inking Williams to four-year contract Wednesday. With Brown and Williams in the fold, the Raiders opted to cut ties with Nelson after just one season. Williams has experience complementing a top-tier wide receiver, averaging 42 catches (on 67 targets) for 690.5 yards and 4.5 touchdowns the past two campaigns behind the Chargers' Keenan Allen.
Williams agreed to a four-year contract with the Raiders on Wednesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Williams, who caught 41 passes for 653 yards and five touchdowns with the Chargers last season, joins a revamped Raiders receiving corps that will be led by the recently acquired Antonio Brown. The fantasy prospects of quarterback Derek Carr are starting to look up thanks to the team's notable offseason upgrades.
Chargers general manager Tom Telesco admitted he isn't sure if the team will be able to re-sign Williams, who said he views himself as a No. 1 receiver, Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com reports. Williams flashed No. 1 ability in his second professional season, catching 69 of 120 targets for 1,059 yards and seven touchdowns for the injury-depleted 2016 Chargers. He then improved his efficiency in a lower-usage role for healthier teams the past two years, averaging 42 catches for 690.5 yards and 4.5 touchdowns on 67 targets. Boasting the physical specs of a No. 1 receiver along with a career mark of 9.7 yards per target, Williams makes for an interesting case in free agency and probably won't stay in Los Angeles unless he's willing to accept a hometown discount. With limited cap room and both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams under contract, the Chargers are unlikely to break the bank on a player they've only utilized to the tune of about four targets per game. The opportunity should be better elsewhere, both in terms of money and target volume.
Williams caught five of seven targets for 94 yards in Sunday's 41-28 divisional-round loss to the Patriots. Williams led the Chargers in receiving yards while tying Antonio Gates and Mike Williams for the team lead in catches, but that fact is little consolation given that his team's Super Bowl hopes were unceremoniously dashed in a game that wasn't nearly as close as the final score indicates -- New England led 35-7 at halftime. The 26-year-old wide receiver will try to use this productive outing to gain a bigger contract as an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Williams finished the regular season with 41 receptions for 653 receiving yards and five touchdowns on 65 targets across 16 games. While he'll still have a chance to raise his production in the postseason, it's fair to suggest Williams' 2018 numbers were more than disappointing for a full-time starter. Keenan Allen, Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler and Mike Williams accounted for the vast majority of the team's target share, relegating Tyrell Williams to no better than fifth in the pass-catching pecking order. It would probably be an even more pedestrian statistical season for Williams if not for a two-week stretch in which he recorded seven receptions for 236 receiving yards and three touchdowns, capitalizing on porous man coverage to record multiple 40-plus-yard catches. An unrestricted free agent this offseason, it would be a surprise if Williams returned to the Chargers given the higher price tag he'll likely command on the open market in addition to the emergence of Mike Williams in his second NFL season.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/15||Kansas City Chiefs||21||22.67|
|7||10/20||@Green Bay Packers||26||24.75|
|10||11/08||Los Angeles Chargers||7||18.44|
|12||11/24||@New York Jets||32||27.38|
|13||12/01||@Kansas City Chiefs||21||22.67|
|16||12/22||@Los Angeles Chargers||7||18.44|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||85||51||813||5||36||15.94||111|