Tyrell Williams

West Rumors: Raiders, Henderson, Broncos

Tyrell Williams dealt with injuries to both of his feet last season, missing time because of it. The maladies took a while to recover from this offseason, but the veteran Raiders wideout believes he has nearly surmounted the nagging problems.

Shoot, it’s been a long offseason with my feet,” Williams said, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic (subscription required). “I did two months after the season of just rehab and resting them. It was still taking a long time and I started getting pretty discouraged, but … um, about two months ago, I finally got over the hump and my feet have been feeling good. I still feel it a little bit, but compared to what I had … it’s nothing compared to what I was going through during the season.”

Williams missed two games with plantar fasciitis in his right foot but said his left foot became a discomfort source after he returned. The second-year Raider then dealt with pain in both feet the rest of the way. Williams still averaged 15.5 yards per catch, but the Raiders drafted two wideouts and a gadget player (Lynn Bowden Jr.) in the first three rounds. The Raiders guaranteed Williams’ $11MM base salary earlier this year, but the ex-Charger has no guaranteed money on his deal beyond 2020.

Here is more injury news from the Raiders’ receiving corps and the latest from the rest of the Wests:

  • Las Vegas first-round pick Henry Ruggs suffered an injury helping a friend move last month but is expected to be ready for camp. While the Raiders’ newest speed merchant received stitches, he sustained no muscular damage, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Around six weeks remain until rookies report for camps.
  • The Rams are beginning a new era at running back, having cut five-year starter Todd Gurley. Darrell Henderson will be one of the players vying for the starting job. The second-year back, however, underwent ankle surgery this offseason, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic tweets. This issue may be behind him, with Rodrigue adding that Henderson has already participated in multiple Jared Goff-conducted throwing sessions (Twitter link). Henderson, Malcolm Brown and rookie second-rounder Cam Akers represent the top options in Los Angeles’ backfield.
  • The Broncos‘ backfield has two primary options, but it’s perhaps just as muddled. Given a two-year, $16MM contract, Melvin Gordon is in line to take Phillip Lindsay‘s starting job despite the latter’s back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. New Denver OC Pat Shurmur was said to have pushed for a “bellcow” back like Gordon, but Denver’s new OC denied he did so on Thursday. “I think that (rumor) is a false narrative. I’m all for adding good players at every position. I feel like Phillip Lindsay is an outstanding player who we can hand the ball to, or throw the ball to. The fact that we have two running backs now who can be very explosive with the ball in their hands, whether they throw it or run it, is a good thing,” Shurmur said, via Denver7’s Troy Renck. “You need more than one running back. … The whole ‘pounding the table’ narrative — listen, I’m the new guy here.”
  • While Lindsay showed promise as a pass catcher at Colorado, Gordon has been more productive as a pro in that area. Gordon’s $8MM-AAV deal and Lindsay’s $750K 2020 base salary would point to the former being ticketed for a change-of-pace role. Shurmur, however, said he envisions formations that will feature both Gordon and Lindsay, Renck tweets.

Salary Guaranteed For Raiders’ Tyrell Williams

Today, Tyrell Williams‘ $11MM base salary for the 2020 season became fully guaranteed, as Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (on Twitter) notes. Before Wednesday, the wide receiver’s salary was guaranteed for injury only, meaning that the Raiders could have cut him without any fiscal penalty. 

After an injury-riddled season, Williams was not a slam dunk to return to the Raiders in 2020. Playing through plantar fasciitis in both feet, Williams didn’t have the sort of breakthrough campaign the Raiders were expecting when they handed him a four-year, $44 million deal last year.

Williams’ 42 grabs for 651 yards and six touchdowns were roughly in line with his previous work, but it wasn’t the sort of production that you’d want out of an $11MM/year player. He did provide glimpses of potential, however. Williams kicked off the year with six catches for 105 yards against the Broncos and later torched the Texans for a seemingly easy 46-yard touchdown – an emphatic statement following a multi-game absence.

The Raiders’ infatuation with Jets receiver and soon-to-be free agent Robby Anderson is well-known, but Williams’ presence could slow their pursuit. Instead, the Raiders could use one of their two first-round picks on a rookie WR, and they’ll have a bevy of top-end talents from which to choose. Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs III, and Tee Higgins are among the players that headline this year’s crop of receivers and depending on how the early picks shake out, they could all be on the table at No. 12. Even if there’s an unexpected run on receivers early, at least one of those players should be available at No. 19.

For now, Williams and Hunter Renfrow are slotted in as the Raiders’ top targets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Jackson, Verrett, Roberts, Williams, Paulsen

Some assorted contract details from around the NFL:

  • Malik Jackson, DT (Eagles): Five years, $50MM, $17MM guaranteed. $9MM signing bonus, $1MM 2019 salary guaranteed. $7.6MM salary in 2020, $4.6MM of which is guaranteed. Base salaries of $9MM, $10MM, and $11MM in 2021-2023. Twitter link via Dan Graziano of ESPN.com.
  • Jason Verrett, CB (49ers): One year, cap charge of $1.5MM. $1.1MM salary of which $600K is guaranteed, plus $400K signing bonus. Verrett “can earn up to $3 million for the season if he is active for all 16 games. It’s $31,250 per game on 53-man roster (up to $500k) and an additional Roster Bonus of $62,500 per game on 46-man game day roster (up to $1 million)”. Twitter links via Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com.
  • Darryl Roberts, CB (Jets): Re-signed. Three years, $18MM max value, but essentially only a one year deal according to Darryl Slater of NJ.com. There’s $6MM in guaranteed money, with another $2MM of his 2020 salary guaranteed for injury only. $5MM salary in 2020, $6.5MM salary in 2021, and zero dead money in either year if they want to cut him.
  • Tyrell Williams, WR (Raiders): Four years, $44MM. There was originally reported to be $22MM in guaranteed money, but that’s apparently not true. There’s only $10MM in guaranteed money in the contract, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Logan Paulsen, TE (Falcons): Re-signed. Paulsen’s one year deal will have a base salary of $930K. Twitter link via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com.

Contract Details: Williams, Webb, Verrett

Here are the latest particulars in recently agreed-upon contracts, courtesy of the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson (unless otherwise noted).

Raiders Notes: Brown, Bell, Williams, Joyner

The 49ers weren’t the only team to miss out on Le’Veon Bell. Vic Tafur of The Athletic writes that the Raiders made an offer to the star running back, and “there was some real buzz in the building” yesterday.

The reporter also notes that the Raiders thought they could land Bell if “money wasn’t the most important thing,” as the running back reportedly preferred to play for the Raiders. After missing out on Bell, the team also took a run at Mark Ingram, who ended up landing in Baltimore.

Bell ultimately agreed to a four-year, $52.5MM deal with the Jets, forcing the Raiders to look elsewhere for a running back. At the moment, the team is rostering three backs in DeAndre Washington, Chris Warren, and James Butler.

Let’s check out some more notes out of Oakland…

  • The Raiders weren’t even considering an Antonio Brown trade until the deal between the Steelers and Bills fell apart, general manager Mike Mayock told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com (Twitter link). The organization ultimately acquired the Pro Bowl wide receiver in exchange for a third- and fifth-round pick in this year’s draft.
  • The Raiders continued to show interest in wideout Tyrell Williams even after pulling off the Brown trade, according to Jason La Canfora (on Twitter). The team ended up agreeing to a four-year, $44MM deal ($22MM guaranteed) earlier today. La Canfora notes that several other teams pursued Williams, including the Ravens, Saints, Steelers, Jets. Many of those teams were offering contracts between $8MM and $9MM annually, with the 27-year-old ultimately receiving $11MM a season from the Raiders.
  • The Raiders are planning to rely on Lamarcus Joyner as their primary nickel cornerback, writes Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The 28-year-old has primarily played safety throughout his career, although he did play some cornerback early on his career. The team will occasionally deploy Joyner at safety, although Gehlken notes that the team could still add another player at the position. Joyner is set to sign a four years, $42MM deal with the Raiders.

Raiders To Sign Tyrell Williams

Having already added superstar Antonio Brown to their receiving corps, the Raiders are making another pass-catching upgrade. Oakland has agreed to sign wide receiver Tyrell Williams, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network tweets that it is a four-year, $44MM deal for Williams, with $22MM guaranteed. The contract maxes out at $47MM with incentives.

As recently as last night, there was a belief the Raiders were not a serious contender for Williams. That may have been due to their acquisition of Brown, or perhaps Williams had been generating enough serious interest from other clubs that Oakland assumed it was no longer a suitor. But Williams will head to the Bay Area after being connected to the Raiders throughout the free agent process.

Viewed as arguably the most intriguing wideout of the 2019 free agent class, Williams had reportedly drawn interest from a number of clubs, including the Colts, Steelers, and Browns.

Williams, 27, first emerged as a legitimate NFL wideout in 2015. With Keenan Allen injured, Williams stepped in as Philip Rivers‘ No. 1 target, hauling in 69 receptions for 1,069 yards and seven touchdowns. Over the past two years, Williams’ volume declined as Allen re-entered the lineup and 2017 first-round pick Mike Williams began taking snaps, but he’s still remained effective. In 2018, Williams ranked 24th among 84 qualifying receivers in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, meaning he was productive on a per-play basis.

As expected, the Raiders and head coach Jon Gruden have been active this offseason, acquiring not only Brown and Williams, but left tackle Trent Brown and safety Lamarcus Joyner.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Not Expected To Sign WR Tyrell Williams

While the Raiders were previously connected to free agent wideout Tyrell Williams, it sounds like they’ve ended their pursuit. Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports (via Twitter) that Williams isn’t expected to sign with the Raiders.

However, it sounds like the Raiders will still be eyeing some reinforcement at receiver. Gehlken notes that the team is likely to round out their wideout corps via the draft. The team already added one major play-maker in Antonio Brown, and they’re still rostering reliable options like Jordy Nelson and Seth Roberts, so opting for the younger route makes plenty of sense.

While Williams may be down a suitor, he should still be able to secure a lucrative deal elsewhere. The 27-year-old broke onto the scene in 2015, hauling in 69 receptions for 1,069 yards and seven touchdowns with the Chargers. Over the past two years, Williams’ volume declined as Keenan Allen re-entered the lineup and 2017 first-round pick Mike Williams began taking snaps, but he’s still remained effective. In 2018, Williams ranked 24th among 84 qualifying receivers in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, meaning he was productive on a per-play basis.

While his numbers aren’t all that glowing, he could still end up inking the most lucrative deal among wideouts this offseason. The Steelers, Browns, and Colts have been connected to Williams, but it’s uncertain if these teams still have interest in the free agent.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelers Interested In WR Tyrell Williams

The Steelers lost one of the top receivers in the league when they traded away Antonio Brown, and now they’re looking to replace him. The team is “involved in the receiver market,” and they’ve inquired about Tyrell Williams, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link). 

If Pittsburgh is indeed going after Williams, they won’t be alone. The Browns are reportedly interested in the young wideout, and the Steelers may also face competition from the team they traded Brown to. Even after acquiring Brown, the Raiders are still interested in adding Williams, according to Michael Gehlken of The Las Vegas Review Journal (Twitter link). The Colts have also been linked to Williams, but their signing of Devin Funchess probably took them out of the running.

Williams has spent the last four seasons with the Charges, and has been one of the most buzzed about free agent receivers. Due to the Chargers’ crowded receiving depth chart, it seems like a foregone conclusion that he’ll be walking. A 2015 undrafted free agent from Western Oregon, Williams barely played as a rookie.

But he broke out in his second season, catching 69 passes for 1,059 yards and seven touchdowns. That was the year Keenan Allen missed the entire season with a torn ACL, and Williams’ production has dipped the last couple of years after Allen returned and the Chargers drafted Mike Williams in the first round. Still though, Williams is a big, talented receiver who can also beat teams deep, and he’d be a great addition as a team’s number two option.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Interested In WR Tyrell Williams

The Browns are expected to have interest in pending Chargers free agent receiver Tyrell Williams, sources tell Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.

Now viewed as the most intriguing receiver scheduled to hit the open market next week, Williams is expected to be highly-coveted once free agency begins. In addition to the Browns, both the Raiders and Colts are likely to pursue Williams, who could exceed $12MM annually on his next contract.

Williams, 27, first emerged as a legitimate NFL wideout in 2015. With Keenan Allen injured, Williams stepped in as Philip Rivers‘ No. 1 target, hauling in 69 receptions for 1,069 yards and seven touchdowns. Over the past two years, Williams’ volume declined as Allen re-entered the lineup and 2017 first-round pick Mike Williams began taking snaps, but he’s still remained effective. In 2018, Williams ranked 24th among 84 qualifying receivers in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, meaning he was productive on a per-play basis.

The Browns’ top three receivers in terms of playtime — Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway, and Rashard Higgins — should all return next season, but Cleveland could lose former first-round pick Breshad Perriman to free agency. General manager John Dorsey has held talks with Perriman’s agent, but no deal is considered close.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

La Canfora’s Latest: Mathieu, Ravens, Bucs

While the Texans are attempting to retain Tyrann Mathieu, both the Ravens and Buccaneers have “serious interest” in the veteran defensive back, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Baltimore just released fellow safety Eric Weddle on Tuesday, while Tampa Bay has been in need of secondary help for years. Mathieu inked a one-year, $7MM deal with Houston last year, but he’s expected to receive a significant raise on his next contract. Per La Canfora, Mathieu should be able to collect $24MM over the first two years of a new deal.

Here’s more from JLC:

  • Overall, the safety market is not expected to be as depressed as it was a year ago, when Mathieu, Eric Reid, Kenny Vaccaro, Tre Boston, and others were forced to settle for one-year pacts. Earl Thomas will set the market and is asking for $13MM annually, per La Canfora. Meanwhile, former Giants safety Landon Collins — now on the market after New York declined to franchise him — will likely come in below Thomas, and Bears defender Adrian Amos is searching for $9-10MM per year.
  • While there aren’t any clear-cut, No. 1 wideouts available this offseason, slot receivers are aplenty, and they should get paid, says JLC. Golden Tate is looking for $13MM per season, while Adam Humphries may be targeting $10MM annually and has already been deemed too expensive to return to the Buccaneers. Cole Beasley could also get $10MM per year, while John Brown wants $8-9MM per season.
  • Offensive tackle Daryl Williams is expected to reach the open market, and La Canfora reports Williams’ price has already “soared” above where the Panthers are comfortable paying. Both the Bills and Giants are expected to target Williams, and both connections make sense. Buffalo employs former Carolina staffer Brandon Beane as its general manager, while ex-Panthers GM Dave Gettleman is in charge in New York.
  • The Raiders have already been mentioned as a potential suitor for Chargers receiver Tyrell Williams, and the Colts could also join the fray, per La Canfora. Williams is expected to earn more than $12MM per year on his new deal.