Yesterday, one completely, yet slightly plausible idea crossed my mind. However, while it resides in the realm of just thought, it does possess a scintilla of merit. With Jon Gruden making over the Raiders in his own image, he wants to create the team from his mind. As a result, he systematically deconstructed much of what Reggie McKenzie built in Oakland. Below, you will find one event that could possibly occur. The baseline is this: If the Raiders traded Khalil Mack, anything remains possible. Now, read this carefully. No one wants any of this to happen. However, given Jon Gruden’s unpredictable nature, nothing is safe, during the offseason.
Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones commented on Dallas’ long-term lack of a true number-one wideout. For an owner to say this, that boggles the mind. With eleven games left, Jones, in effect, threw cold water on the 2018 version of his franchise. Yet, for the Raiders, an opportunity exists.
The Deal: Dallas agrees to send a second, fourth and maybe a sixth to Oakland for Amari Cooper.
Why This Works: In Cooper, the Cowboys receive a young receiver with the hands, speed, and explosive ability to become a mainstay. Meanwhile, the Raiders grab three more draft picks, in the hopes of a complete franchise reset. In addition, Cooper disappears during games. In 51 career games, he has tallied fewer than 40 yards receiving, eighteen times. If you expand the number to 62 yards or less (the average to reach 1000), the number increases to thirty. When Cooper and Carr connect, the results speak for themselves. Yet, how does a number one receiver disappear. One underrated fact: Cooper and Khalil Mack share an agent. As a result, previous enmity may exist. Plus, Cooper’s salary jumps from 700 thousand to 13.9 million.
If you look at it from the Dallas side in depth, a wideout on that offense makes them much better. Terrance Williams struggles and Cole Beasley lives within the slot. A big play threat would open up life for Ezekiel Elliott.
Why This Fails: After Cooper, the Raiders do not have a single potentially dominant playmaker. On a roster teeming with veterans, Oakland needs a receiver with Cooper’s potential. With Gruden’s scheme, the hope remains that Cooper can pull out of the funk and ascend to elite status. With his fifth-year option looming, and a need for an extension, if he plays well, this conjecture becomes moot. In all honesty, Cooper and the Raiders need each other.
In essence, the Raiders should want to retain Amari Cooper. Yet, with an uncertain offensive future, disappearing and new coach, no one can say the team won’t listen. At worst, the Raiders should listen. Whether they remain on the path with Cooper as the future remains to be seen.