Jordy Nelson Released by Raiders After Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams Moves

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2019

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Jordy Nelson speaks during a press conference at the Hilton London Wembley hotel in London, Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. The Oakland Raiders arrived in Britain Friday for an NFL regular season game against the Seattle Seahawks in London on Sunday. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Wide receiver Jordy Nelson's career with the Oakland Raiders is over after one season. 

On Thursday, the Raiders announced they released Nelson after he played 15 games in 2018. Marcus Thompson of The Athletic first reported the news.

This comes after the Raiders announced they traded third- and fifth-round picks in the 2019 draft to the Pittsburgh Steelers for Antonio Brown. What's more, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported they signed wide receiver Tyrell Williams to bolster the aerial attack as well.

This comes after head coach Jon Gruden said Nelson would return:

Gregg Rosenthal @greggrosenthal

Jon Gruden on Jordy Nelson on December 28, after the Raiders gave him a $3.6 million bonus early for cap purposes. “Yeah, he’ll be back.”

Nelson is past his prime at 33 years old, but he was fairly effective in Oakland's offense during the 2018 campaign. He finished with 63 catches for 739 yards and three touchdowns, which were better than when he tallied 53 catches for 482 yards in 2017 for the Green Bay Packers.

The Kansas State product was a dominant force for the Packers during his prime as a 2014 Pro Bowler, 2016 Comeback Player of the Year and one-time Super Bowl champion. He topped 1,200 yards four times in the NFC North, including 2016 when he finished with 1,257 yards and 14 touchdown catches.

He isn't far removed from that effort and will surely draw attention on the open market because of it, but there wasn't as much room in the receiver rotation for him after Oakland's high-profile additions.

Brown is one of the best receivers in the league as a seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro, while Williams is 27 years old and coming off a three-year span in which he averaged 813.3 receiving yards and 5.3 touchdown catches a season for the Los Angeles Chargers.

Oakland will need to improve on an offense that finished 23rd in the league in total yards in 2018 if it wants to compete in the AFC West, but Nelson will not be a part of it.