Antonio Brown is now the star of the Raiders' corps of wide receivers. There’s no doubt about that.
But that doesn’t mean Tyrell Williams won’t play a big role, too.
Williams, the former Charger, signed a free-agent deal with the Raiders this week for four years and as much as $44 million (with $22 million guaranteed), knowing that he’ll have plenty of opportunities to catch passes and make plays, even with Brown on the field at the same time.
“Antonio’s going to draw a lot of attention,” Williams said Wednesday. “When they’re doubling him I’ll be able to get a solo matchup. I’m definitely looking forward to that.”
Williams, a former undrafted free agent out of Western Oregon, became a favorite target of Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers over the past three seasons. After a 2015 rookie season in which he caught just two passes, Williams had 69 catches for 1,059 yards and seven touchdowns in 2016, 43 catches for 728 yards in 2017 and 41 catches for 653 yards in 2018. Williams has been especially effective on deep passes and has averaged 16.3 yards per catch in his four years in the league. His four TD catches of 75 or more yards rank first among all receivers since he entered the league. He's also among the NFL leaders in making contested catches over the same period.
Brown, too, is a deep threat, so running routes together, both Brown and Williams – along with No. 3 receiver Jordy Nelson – should find open spaces in coverage.
Williams believes he, Brown, Nelson and anyone else in Jon Gruden’s offense should be able to thrive. That’s why he chose to play for the Raiders.
“All of us are going to have opportunities to get the ball and make plays in this offense,” said Williams.