The glaring need at the wide receiver position has become painfully obvious over the first couple weeks of the Raiders season. What was seen as one of the better looking units in the league while Antonio Brown was expected to behave himself, has been downright pathetic since then.
Help is needed and the Raiders are trying to find it. Friday they hosted four wide receviers for workouts, including a familiar face to Oakland. The team’s former 7th round pick, Brice Butler.
Raiders tryouts reported: WRs Brice Butler, Pharoh Cooper, Tyron Johnson, Anthony Ratliff-Williams.— Howard Balzer (@HBalzer721) September 21, 2019
WR Brice Butler tells me he worked out for the #Raiders today ahead of their trip to Minnesota. Tells me he would love to rejoin the team and QB Derek Carr. A 7th round pick for them in 2013, he believes he could be another weapon for them on the outside.— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) September 21, 2019
The man earned the nickname ‘DJ Duffle” in his first year with the Raiders, was a preseason standout for three seasons. But after his first two seasons still finding himself spending time on the practice squad, he had become a tad non-plussed by how his preseason performances were not leading to anything.
“I can make plays,” Butler told me in 2015 training camp. “But this is my third preseason and typically the trend is to play good in the preseason and don’t really do much in the regular season, so my mindset’s a little different about preseason. I want to do well, of course, every time I step on the field I want to do well, but to me the preseason doesn’t really matter much.”
The previous two seasons, it was Dennis Allen’s staff that watched how well he played and still waived him at the deadline. Though each time he was eventually called up to the roster and would spend 25 games with the team, catching 30 passes for 383 yards and 2 touchdowns.
It was a fairly good deal as it netted the Raiders a 5th round pick. Butler was happy too because for the first time in his young career a team saw what he was doing on the field in preseason and wanted to give him a real chance from the start.
In three seasons with the Cowboys, Butler caught 43 passes on 81 targets for 794 yards and 6 touchdowns. That offseason he signed a 2-year deal with the Cardinals but again found himself among the final roster cuts prior to the start of the season.
He would spent six games with the Dolphins last season catching 6 passes for 60 yards and a touchdown.
Now 29, he finds himself looking for a new team and with the Raiders situation at receiver, a return to Oakland could be his best chance to get back on an NFL field.