Jon Gruden seems to be hell bent on trading every young player that’s hitting their prime on the current Raiders roster. They traded away Khalil Mack for two first round picks, looking back on a move like that, history will not be so kind to them. Now they are actively shopping around second year cornerback Gareon Conley, third year safety Karl Joseph and wide receiver Amari Cooper. All three players are 25 or younger and can arguably say they haven’t even hit their prime.
News broke a few days ago that Gruden was openly and actively shopping the fourth year wide out. News also broke yesterday that Gruden was seeking a first round pick for Cooper. Something he’s going to be waiting a long time for. Most people will tell you that teams aren’t going to give Gruden that much for Cooper. Seeing as how there has been a bit of a drop off the last two seasons. And he was just recently injured.
When the news broke, before It came out that Gruden wanted a first in return for Cooper, I immediately thought: Ozzie and the front office should give Gruden a call and see if they can broker a deal. It seems as if Raven fans do this with every young receiver in their prime or hitting their prime, since they never seem to hit on any in the draft. Cooper is only 24 years of age, his fourth year in the NFL. If you could get a player like that for a mid-round pick, a fourth rounder, or at the highest a 3rd round draft pick, why not pull the trigger, right?
Cooper had a stellar start to his career in The Bay. Having two thousand yard seasons and 11 touchdowns in his first two years as a Raider. But his play has taken a dip over the course of the last two. And with the way things are currently looking in Oakland, I’m sure Amari wouldn’t mind a change of scenery before the team moves to Las Vegas a year from now. Seeing as how Gruden seems to think he’s living in 2010 with his roster decisions.
The Ravens offense have had its ups and downs over the first six weeks of the season. And you could argue that they don’t really need the wide out with their current core of pass catchers they currently have. But Cooper, a former fourth overall selection in the draft, possesses talent and youth this team hasn’t really a gotten a taste of in its short history. It would also give the organization a possible long-term solution for the future. Also, something they don’t really have as John Brown and Michael Crabtree are on one- and two-year deals. And if they hypothetically make the trade, they’ll get Cooper for this season and the next, as he is still under contract until 2020. So, they can have about a two-year nucleus seeing if it’s a good fit or not. Cooper played alongside Michael Crabtree in Oakland for his first three seasons in the NFL and the two worked out well playing alongside one another. Why not see if they can do it again in Baltimore?
I’m certainly not advocating for the front office to give up a lot for Cooper. But if Ozzie can get Gruden to come to grips with reality and make him see the light and it only ends up costing the team a mid round pick, I don’t think management should hesitate doing so. Especially looking at the teams record at drafting wide receivers. A 24 year old talent like Cooper doesn’t hit the trade market very often. We’ll have to see if Gruden comes down on his high expectations.