Raiders to sign Jordy Nelson, release Michael Crabtree

The Raiders have shaken things up in their receiving corps.

Oakland has reached an agreement with former Pro Bowler, and longtime Packers standout Jordy Nelson, according to NFL Network analyst James Jones. Nelson was released by Green Bay on Tuesday.

That wasn’t the only move made. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Raiders will release Michael Crabtree to make room for Nelson in the their increasingly crowded receiver group.

Crabtree caught 58 passes for 618 yards, both lows in his three seasons with Oakland, in 2017 and drew criticism from, among others, now-head coach Jon Gruden, then working as a television analyst, for his willingness to stand on the sideline and watch big plays down the stretch last season. The nine-year receiver missed one game due to injury last season. He also missed one due to suspension for his involvement in on-field altercation with Broncos defensive back Aqib Talib.

Nelson has endured a much more extensive injury history, the most noteworthy of those injuries of course coming in 2015 when he tore the ACL in his right knee during the preseason costing him the entire regular season. His 97 catches, 1,257 yards and league-leading 14 touchdown grabs leading to a comeback player of the year award in 2016 definitely told the Raiders that he is beyond that ailment.

Much more recently, injured his left shoulder in Week 16 this year, forcing him to miss Green Bay’s final game.

When healthy, Nelson has been a very dangerous receiving threat for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, scoring double-digit touchdowns in three of his nine seasons. This is what Oakland and quarterback Derek Carr are in need of and just never got from Crabtree, who has never grabbed more than nine scores in a season.


Kalama Hines is SFBay’s sports director and Oakland Raiders beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @HineSight_2020 on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Raiders football.