Williams missed last season because of a torn labrum in his shoulder that required surgery. He isn’t fully healthy yet so the Raiders need to wait until the new league year begins on March 17 to release him for salary-cap purposes. The team will save $11.6 million with the move.
He signed a four-year, $44.4 million contract that included $22 million guaranteed with the Raiders as a free agent in 2019. All the guaranteed money has been paid out in his contract.
Williams, who will turn 29 on Friday, had 42 catches for 651 yards and six touchdowns for the Raiders in 2019. But plantar fasciitis in both feet slowed him and he missed two games.
He spent the first four seasons of his career with the Chargers and had 155 receptions for 2,530 yards and 17 touchdowns in 55 games. His best season came in 2016 when he had 69 receptions for 1,059 yards and seven touchdowns.
The news that Williams will be released was first reported by NFL Network.