The Oakland Raiders went out of their way to convince wide receiver Jordy Nelson to come to the Bay Area this offseason. Following his release from the Green Bay Packers, the only stop he made on his free agency tour was in Oakland before eventually signing with Jon Gruden’s team. Apparently, his stint with the team may be short-lived, as he was rumored to be calling it a career following the Raiders’ loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 10.
Chris Reed of Silver & Black Today and CBS Sports Radio originally stated he had “just heard Jordy Nelson will be retiring tomorrow,” as seen from the screenshot below (following a comment from CBS Sports Radio’s Scott Gulbransen).
Reed has since stated that this was his “speculation” while deleting the original tweet above.
While the original report was backtracked on, it’s still an interesting scenario as there have been rumblings of something going on behind closed doors. As Matt Schneidman of the Bay Area News Group reported, quarterback Derek Carr was frustrated after Sunday’s game due to something that happened.
Nelson’s release from the Packers this past offseason was somewhat surprising, considering he had been one of Aaron Rodgers’ go-to targets throughout his career. The 33-year-old receiver spent nine seasons in Green Bay, totaling 550 receptions for 7,848 yards and 69 touchdowns. During his eight-game stretch with the Raiders, Nelson has caught just 25 passes for 353 yards and three touchdowns.
With the Raiders sitting at 1-8 on the season and in the midst of a full-blown rebuild, it seems Nelson may prefer to call it a career. With Gruden and the organization’s focus now shifting to the longterm instead of immediate future, this decision would make plenty of sense.
Jordy Nelson’s Superb Packers Career
The Pro Bowl receiver had three seasons with double-digit touchdowns and four with 1,250-plus yards. Each of these came in an impressive five-year span from 2011 to 2016 (he missed 2015 due to injury).
Nelson was named Second-Team All-Pro in 2014, a season in which he caught 98 passes for 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was also the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2016 following a torn ACL which cost him the entire previous season.
It seemed Nelson never wanted to leave the Packers in the first place. So much so that Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported former teammate James Jones said he nearly took a low-ball offer.
“I’m not going to say what they offered him, but they really, really low-balled him,” Jones said. “It wasn’t even anything you would consider. Even with all that, he was still considering taking it.”
Nelson was loyal to the Packers, so heading to a new team at this point in his career couldn’t have been an easy move. If he does indeed retire, he’ll go down as one of the most well-respected wideouts in Green Bay history.
Raiders’ Brutal 2018 Season
The Raiders were set to enter the season with one of the NFL’s best pass-rushers in Mack and an offense with plenty of talent, which created loads of optimism. The hiring of Gruden only added to that, as he was a self-proclaimed quarterback guru who many believed could get the most out of Carr.
While Carr hasn’t been the full issue to this point, the problems are widespread across the roster. The Raiders boast the worst point differential through Week 10 of the season at -125, just worse than the Buffalo Bills (-114) and also the Arizona Cardinals (-101).
Currently, Oakland also ranks near the bottom of the NFL in the bulk of offensive categories. They average 16.3 points (third worst), 97.1 rushing yards (ninth fewest) and 349.7 total yards per game (No. 11 fewest) this season. With the rebuild set to get underway early on this offseason, Gruden and general manager Reggie McKenzie will have their work cut out for them.