Thursday, January 26, 2023

Raiders sign Super Bowl champion WR, former teammate of Tom Brady

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The Las Vegas Raiders are undergoing significant roster changes this offseason, and most of the damage is coming from free agency and the draft. However, the team can still try to add some players who are currently unsigned. Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow are the only wide receivers who were on the active roster at the end of the season and are also signed for next season.

There’s a good shot, Keelan Cole and Mack Hollins could be on the move. With that in mind, the Raiders added a wide receiver. The team announced that it has signed Tyler Johnson to a reserve/future contract.

At 24, Johnson is a young player. He originally came to the NFL as a fifth-round pick from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2020 NFL Draft. He was part of the team that won the Super Bowl that season. He returned to Tampa Bay in 2021 and caught 36 passes for 360 yards. The Buccaneers decided to let him go ahead of the 2022 season and he ended up with the Houston Texans. He played in two games but didn’t catch a single pass during the season. He ended up back on the Buccaneers practice team, but they wouldn’t let him take snaps during the season.

It could just be a coincidence, but Johnson spent three years playing with Tom Brady. The future Hall of Famer will be a free agent this offseason and has been heavily linked with the Raiders. Well, Johnson, being in Las Vegas, won’t convince Brady to move west, but he probably wouldn’t mind seeing a familiar face.

The two had a strong relationship in 2021 and Johnson could be a solid fourth or fifth wide receiver for the Raiders. The wide receiver’s signing likely has little to do with Brady, but his addition certainly doesn’t hurt the team’s chances of landing the quarterback.

Mack Hollins was one of the Raiders’ nicest surprises of 2022. The veteran wide receiver caught 57 passes for 690 yards, both of which were career bests. He was also a popular teammate. Before joining the Raiders, Hollins wasn’t a household name. His previous career high for single-season catches was 16. Thanks to his first season in Las Vegas, he should get a nice payday in free agency.

This year’s free agent class is weak, with Jakobi Meyers and JuJu Smith-Schuster leading the pack. It’s possible a team liked what they saw of Hollins and gave him a big deal this offseason. After the 2020 season with the Raiders, Nelson Agholor was paid off by the New England Patriots. After the 2021 season with the Raiders, Zay Jones was paid off by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Hollins looks set to be the next Raiders wide receiver to land a solid contract. Las Vegas would like to keep him. He’s one of the hardest workers on the team and has proven to be a very good #3 wide receiver. That means he might feel like he can go anywhere and be a No. 2 wide receiver.

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