Nelson will be familiar with the West Coast-based system Jon Gruden plans to employ in Oakland and would not need to learn a new position. Edgar Bennett, offensive coordinator with the Packers last season, is now WR coach for the Raiders.
Nelson has been one of Aaron Rodgers‘ favorite targets for several years, catching 195 passes for 2,776 yards and 27 touchdowns from 2014-2016 despite missing the entire 2015 campaign with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. However, Nelson struggled in 2017 as Rodgers missed significant time, finishing with 53 catches for 482 yards and six touchdowns.
He ranks third in team history in receptions (550) and second in touchdown catches (69).
“We cannot thank Jordy enough for all that he has given the Green Bay Packers and our community for the past 10 years,” general manager Brian Gutekunst said in a statement. “He has been an exemplary professional and teammate and greatly contributed to our success. Jordy will always be a member of the Packers family and we look forward to his eventual induction into the Packers Hall of Fame. We wish Jordy, his wife Emily, and the rest of their family all the best.”
Nelson, who turns 33 in May, intends to continue his playing career, according to an ESPN report. In addition to the Raiders, the Patriots, Ravens, Seahawks and 49ers are expected to pursue him, with New England being a spot of interest to Nelson, according to a Yahoo Sports report.
There is a long line of Packers’ receivers whose play fell off entirely after age 30, including Antonio Freeman, Sterling Sharpe, Robert Brooks, Javon Walker and Greg Jennings. Nelson’s strong work ethic was lauded by teammates past and present on his way out of Green Bay, and Gruden has been in this position before. In 2003, another receiver many thought to be washed up — 33-year-old Keenan McCardell — went to the Pro Bowl for the Buccaneers with Gruden calling plays.
McCardell had 84 receptions for 1,174 and eight touchdowns in 2003.
–Field Level Media