Could the Raiders be bringing back a familiar face in the receiving corps in 2018? That could totally be in play if they can reach an agreement on five-year pro Brice Butler. Butler spent his first two seasons with the Raiders (2013-14) out of Ohio State, but has played the bulk of his NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys (2015-17).
No, Butler will not be a star No. 1 receiver with the Raiders, but he could certainly start for this team. It’s probably the biggest part of his free agency in getting an opportunity to start. Oakland could have a roll for him as the No. 2 or No. 3 option if he is ready to make that jump in year six in 2018.
What really helps Butler’s cause in coming back to the Raiders besides playing for the Silver and Black before is the connections he has with many members on this staff. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson was his coach in 2014. Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia and Butler were in Dallas the last few years. Gruden’s brother Jay Gruden coached against Butler twice annually in the NFC East with the Washington Redskins.
Overall, the Raiders know what they will be getting out of Butler in free agency. He’s not a star player by any means, but is coming off his best season in the pros in 2017. Butler had 15 catches for 317 yards and three touchdowns. Though not a sexy signing, Oakland can get him if the Raiders feel like it. It would be a good under-the-radar move, but wouldn’t exactly fill the void left by Crabtree’s certain departure.