Raiders Reportedly Trade WR Louis Murphy to Panthers

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Raiders Reportedly Trade WR Louis Murphy to Panthers

The Oakland Raiders have traded wide receiver Louis Murphy to the Carolina Panthers, according to NFL reporter Jason Cole via Twitter:

The Raiders received an undisclosed draft pick in exchange for Murphy, according to

Although the Raiders aren't exactly deep at wide receiver heading into the 2012 season, as Darrius Heyward-Bey led the way in receptions and yards in 2011, this move shouldn't hurt their chances to contend in the AFC West, which is virtually up for grabs this coming season.

Meanwhile, the Panthers acquire a young wide receiver with over 40 games of NFL experience under his belt. If they want to challenge in a difficult division next season, they need to make trades like this one. 

What It Means 

The Raiders are parting ways with a wideout who showed great promise in his first two seasons in the league. Murphy caught a combined 75 balls for six touchdowns in 2009 and 2010 with Oakland, but notably fell off last season, recording just 15 receptions for 241 yards in 11 games in 2011.

The 25-year-old out of Florida has shown glimpses of why the Raiders made a move for him coming out of college, but he will need to be more consistent and more of a presence on the outside if he is to make a name for himself with a lengthy and successful NFL career. 

What Happens Next

Carolina adds a solid young piece to a wide receiving corps that featured little threat outside of Steve Smith last season. Brandon LaFell was the Panthers' second-leading wide receiver behind Smith in 2011, catching 36 passes for 613 yards and three touchdowns.

Murphy can provide second-year quarterback Cam Newton, who threw for more than 4,000 yards and 21 touchdowns in his rookie season, with an additional target, as a player capable of stretching the field. Murphy averaged 16.1 yards per catch last season in Oakland.

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