Amari Cooper Trade Rumors: Raiders Discussing Potentially Dealing WR

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 14, 2018

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper (89) runs against the Denver Broncos during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Oakland Raiders may not be done trading away star players.

According to a report from Jay Glazer on Fox NFL Sunday, the team is actively shopping both wide receiver Amari Cooper and safety Karl Joseph.

After the Raiders' 27-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, head coach Jon Gruden didn't outright deny the team was looking to move on from Cooper, who suffered a concussion in the defeat:

Were the Raiders to trade either player, or both, it would represent a full fire sale after they also dealt superstar edge-rusher Khalil Mack earlier this season.

Cooper was superb in his first two seasons, catching 155 passes for 2,223 yards and 11 touchdowns. He had a down year in 2017, however, managing just 48 receptions for 680 yards in 14 games, though he did add seven touchdowns.

He's been inconsistent in 2018, entering Sunday with 22 receptions for 280 yards and a score, either giving the Raiders huge games (two contests with over 100 yards receiving) or not much at all (three games with fewer than 20 yards receiving).

Still, moving off Cooper would mean getting rid of another young player thought to be a foundational piece for the future. Yes, Mack's trade to the Bears netted a treasure trove of draft picks, but he's been downright dominant in Chicago (five sacks, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one interception, one touchdown).

On the other hand, there is an argument to be made for cutting ties with the 24-year-old Cooper now rather than risk losing him in free agency after 2019:

Moving off proven players for draft assets is always a risky proposition, even if the end game is rebuilding. There's no guarantee the picks received in a trade will turn out to be as impactful as the players dealt to land them.

Nonetheless, it appears as though Gruden isn't averse to a full-scale rebuild if the rumors surrounding Cooper and Joseph are true. Given the team's 1-4 start, major changes may be coming in Oakland.

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