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Oakland Raiders Sign WR Jordy Nelson, Cut Crabtree

Jordy Nelson Raiders

Wide Receiver Shuffle 2018

One of the more interesting storylines from the NFL Agency period has to be the Green Bay Packers and their decision to release wide receiver Jordy Nelson. The move cleared $10.2 million in cap space and left behind a modest $2.3 million in dead money. On paper, releasing the longtime Packer makes perfect sense, Jordy is 32-years old, and in a league heavily driven by money, his contract needed to be restructured or torn up. Packers GM Brian Gutekunst never led on to any of the finer details of the decision, and wouldn’t confirm whether or not the Packers tried to restructure Jordy’s contract. However, the veteran WR didn’t last long on the open market.

The Oakland Raiders signed Jordy Nelson to a two-year, $15 million deal. As a result, the Raiders cut Michael Crabtree and his $7.5 million in salary and bonuses to free up cash to give to Jordy. The deal includes $13 million guaranteed.

Fantasy Value

Jordy NelsonDespite playing very sluggish for backup quarterback Brent Hundley, Jordy Nelson had six touchdowns in the first four games of the 2017 season with Aaron Rodgers. The Packers lost Aaron Rodgers to injury week 6, where he missed all but one late-season game in 2017. Davonta Adams, however, was still able to make the best of things churning out 885 yards and 10 Touchdowns. The team tried their best to make a playoff rally, but it was clear that once Rodgers was gone, Jordy wasn’t the same.

A lot of fantasy gurus are moving Jordy Nelson down their Fantasy Rankings board now that he is a member of the Oakland Raiders, and I don’t blame them. Derek Carr has yet to throw for 4,000 yards in the four seasons he’s been the starter for the Raiders, and the hiring of Jon Gruden is a huge question mark. The Raiders are committed to Gruden after handing him a ridiculous ten year 100 million dollar contract; however, the man has been out of coaching since 2008.

Gruden is a smart mind and should adapt quickly but he is very much an old-school coach. In a new era of football analytics, Gruden may find himself a fish out of water. If Gruden needs a season to get caught up to how the game has adjusted, fantasy owners could be stuck with underperforming talent.

Final Thoughts: Jordy Out, Jimmy In

The Packers are giving 31-year old Jimmy Graham $30 million over three years but passed on Jordy Nelson who was making $10.2 million a year. I really don’t understand this decision at all. You already know there is an excellent rapport with Jordy and Aaron Rodgers, so I’m not sure why you should shove a proven player out the door for Jimmy Graham who hasn’t had a 1,000-yard season since 2013. Graham was also tied for 2nd in the NFL for drops in 2017. Despite having ten touchdowns in his last year with the Seahawks, Graham put the ball on the ground seven times last year.

Most Packer fans I’ve talked to said while they do love the fact the team addressed the tight end position, they felt they could have easily just drafted a player to fill this void.

As a reference point, I pulled the top 30 highest paid wide receivers from Over The Cap. What seems too expensive to some may seem reasonable to others. There are a lot of players on this list that getting paid generously.

Suggested Read

Highest Paid Wide Receivers in 2018
Rank Player Team Avg./Year
1 Antonio Brown Steelers 17,000,000
2 DeAndre Hopkins Texans 16,200,000
3 Sammy Watkins Chiefs 16,000,000
4 Jarvis Landry Browns 15,982,000
5 A.J. Green Bengals 15,000,000
6 Davante Adams Packers 14,500,000
7 Julio Jones Falcons 14,250,000
8 Demaryius Thomas Broncos 14,000,000
9 Dez Bryant Cowboys 14,000,000
10 Allen Robinson Bears 14,000,000
11 TY Hilton Colts 13,000,000
12 Alshon Jeffery Eagles 13,000,000
13 Doug Baldwin Seahawks 11,500,000
14 Keenan Allen Chargers 11,250,000
15 DeSean Jackson Buccaneers 11,166,667
16 Emmanuel Sanders Broncos 11,000,000
17 Larry Fitzgerald Cardinals 11,000,000
18 Tavon Austin Rams 10,555,501
19 Allen Hurns Jaguars 10,012,500
20 Randall Cobb Packers 10,000,000
21 Pierre Garcon 49ers 9,500,000
22 Michael Crabtree Raiders 8,500,000
23 Marqise Lee Jaguars 8,500,000
24 Kenny Stills Dolphins 8,000,000
25 Albert Wilson Dolphins 8,000,000
26 Paul Richardson Redskins 8,000,000
27 Marvin Jones Lions 8,000,000
28 Ryan Grant Ravens 7,375,000
29 Donte Moncrief Jaguars 7,000,000
30 Robert Woods Rams 6,800,000
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