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Raiders keep adding receiving talent, expected to sign Tyrell Williams

Eric Edholm
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One of the better free-agent wide receiver is defecting from one AFC West team to another.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, former Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams intends to sign with the Oakland Raiders.

And it’s for big money, too. Schefter reported that Williams is set to earn a four-year, $44 million deal with a maximum value of $47 million, which includes $22 million guaranteed. On an average-per-year basis, that’s as much as Larry Fitzgerald and Emmanuel Sanders are set to make next season.

That’s yet another big addition at the position for the Raiders, who just made a dramatic trade for Antonio Brown in what’s appearing to be a remade offense in Oakland.

Brown is expected to be the league’s highest-paid receiver, and Williams will land in the top 20 at the position. The Raiders still have Jordy Nelson and Seth Roberts on the books at more than $5 million per year for now, so we could see the Raiders make another move or two to change who ends up in the receivers’ room before training camp.

How much can Williams add?

Williams, who was Yahoo Sports’ No. 14 available free agent this offseason, hasn’t been able to match his brilliant 2016 season totals (69 catches, 1,059 yards, seven TDs) the past two seasons. But he also was in an offense that — at different times — had a lot of explosive and productive pass catchers, such as Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry, Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler and even Antonio Gates.

The good thing for the Raiders is that Williams won’t have to be the go-to option in Oakland with Brown now in the fold, so he can play a complementary role in Jon Gruden’s offense.

Former Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams reportedly is set to sign with the Oakland Raiders. (AP Photo)
Former Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams reportedly is set to sign with the Oakland Raiders. (AP Photo)

It’s not clear what the rest of the offense will look like right now. Nelson and Roberts remain on the team for now, and tight end Jared Cook is an unsigned free agent. There’s also the matter of how the backfield will shape up, and there at least has been some speculation over whether QB Derek Carr will remain the long-term starter.

But Williams is a tall receiver (6-foot-4) who can help the Raiders as a downfield threat. Interestingly, only four of his 19 career TDs have come in the red zone, so Williams hasn’t exactly been used as that type of pass catcher.

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