ALAMEDA – Raiders general manager Mike Mayock said acquiring elite receiver Antonio Brown became an attraction that drew others to the Silver and Black.
“All of a sudden there’s this energy around the NFL where other players want to come here,” Mayock said. “We’ve had an awful lot of phone calls in the last 48 hours that are just exciting.”
That wasn’t lip service.
It helped hook Tyrell Williams, as a matter of fact.
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound deep threat said so Wednesday night, shortly after signing a four-year, $44 million contract at the Raiders training facility.
That’s a hefty sum, and comes with $22 million guaranteed. That was obviously a draw.
So was playing opposite Brown, a four-time first-team All Pro who draws special attention in the pattern.
“Seeing AB come here, seeing some of the things they’re doing on the offensive side of the ball, it’s exciting,” the former L.A. Chargers receiver said in a press conference. “I’ve gone against the Raiders the past four years, so it’s an easy transition for me.”
It also helps that he’s from the West Coast, and his father Ray is an Oakland Tech High grad and a massive Raiders fan. His dad rooted for the rival Chargers when he son was there so he would’ve supported any team, but this choice is special.
Joining an offense with so many new offensive weapons could be a smart choice. Brown’s the centerpiece, someone who should create favorable matchups for Williams.
“Antonio’s going to draw a lot of attention,” Williams said. “When they’re doubling him I’ll be able to get a solo matchup. I’m definitely looking forward to that.”
Head coach Jon Gruden wouldn’t comment directly on Williams – his deal wasn’t officially done yet – but said he wants to form the NFL’s best receiver corps. The Raiders should have a good one, especially if they’re able to retain Jordy Nelson as the third option and a solid possession receiver and red-zone target.
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Williams exceeded 1,000 yards once in his four years with the Chargers, when he got 119 targets in 2016, but got roughly half that in subsequent seasons. Targets might stay at recent levels with Brown available, but Williams isn’t worried about that.
“As a receiver everybody wants the ball, but I think all of us are going to have opportunities to get the ball and make plays in this offense,” Williams said. “I have a chance to learn from one of the best receivers in the game, so why not do it?”