The Oakland Raiders put an emphasis on shoring up their receiving corps behind Antonio Brown this offseason by signing Tyrell Williams to a four-year deal.
Aside from the money and opportunity to be a part of a potential resurgence with the Raiders, there were other incentives for Williams to sign. It appears he has always had a personal connection to the silver and black growing up with a family of Raiders fans.
Although Williams is from Oregon, he has roots in Oakland and spent plenty of time in the city throughout his childhood. His professional career has now somewhat come full circle.
According to Scott Bair of NBC Sports, Williams is embracing all of the nostalgia that has come with joining the Raiders:
“I have been out to Oakland a bunch of times visiting my grandmother’s house every summer,” Williams said. “When I signed, I went driving by that house, which is 15 minutes away from the facility, and saw places where I used to play with my cousins. It just made me feel at home. I’m not from Oakland, but this place is familiar and important to me. It’s like a second home, and it will be so great to play in front of my family. It has been awesome.”
Williams’ comments are certainly understandable considering seldom players get the opportunity to play in a familiar setting without having to sacrifice money or playing time. It is safe to say that the presence of his family in the stands will serve as added motivation for him put on a strong performance in the 2019 NFL season.
With Brown no longer on the team after being released, Williams should waste no time in taking on an expanded role in Oakland. As the only other proven wideout in this group, he will likely step up and serve as the No. 1 option for Derek Carr in his stead.
Williams enjoyed a breakout season in 2016 when he hauled in 69 catches for 1,059 yards and seven touchdowns before a diminished role led to a couple of down years with the Los Angeles Chargers. Fortunately, he has not been shy about expressing his high hopes for a comeback in the 2019 campaign.
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