A few weeks ago, it looked as if Andre Holmes was on his way out of Oakland.
Though the wide receiver is a big, speedy target who led the Raiders in receiving yards in 2014 (693 on 47 catches), Oakland tendered Holmes a low offer as a restricted free agent.
That meant any team could match the offer and sign Holmes without the Raiders receiving any compensation.
But Holmes didn’t get any offers, and ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson is reporting that Holmes is now expected to sign the Raiders’ offer, which has been reported to be just $1.54 million for 2015.
If so, the Raiders now have Holmes to go with James Jones, Rod Streater and Brice Butler at wideout before the draft on April 30, when it’s expected they make take a receiver with the No. 4 overall pick. Also, the Raiders have been in discussions with former 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree. The addition of Crabtree, a high draft pick, Holmes and the return of Streater from injury could give Oakland a much more talented group of receivers than it had in 2014.
The 6-foot-4 Holmes, who started 13 games in 2014, can be an athletic playmaker, with the ability to outjump and outmuscle cornerbacks for balls. In his first season with the Raiders in 2013, Holmes had 25 catches for 431 yards and a touchdown, with a 17.2-yard average per catch. In 2014 he raised his production, averaged 14.7 yards per reception and scored four TDs.
His best game last season came in a 31-28 loss to the Chargers when he had eight catches for 121 yards and two scores.
In several games this past season, rookie quarterback Derek Carr and Holmes connected on big plays. It was a chemistry that worked, and now will continue through 2015.
Holmes said he was encouraged last season because Carr believed in him enough to throw him the ball, even in traffic.
“He trusts you to make plays, and it’s really encouraging,” Holmes told the Bay Area News Group.
Now, the wideout will get even more chances this coming season.