The Oakland Raiders got the better end of trading wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Cowboys for a first round pick in 2019.
The Raiders weren’t having a good 2018 season. Their offense was subpar and to make matters worse, they traded their most potent offensive weapon, wide receiver Amari Cooper, to the Cowboys for what turned out to be the 27th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
At the time, Oakland’s head coach Jon Gruden was questioned and said that trading Cooper was in the best interest of the team. The Raiders had grown tired of waiting for Cooper to develop into the superstar they envisioned when they selected him fourth overall in 2015 and decided to start building for the future.
That future came this past offseason when Oakland traded a third round pick in 2019 for All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown. They basically made a switch at the position and even though it seems like the Raiders got a washed-up wide receiver on the surface, they became exponentially better because of it.
When he played in Oakland, Cooper produced consecutive 1,000 yards seasons in a three-year span. He was supposed to breakout in Gruden’s offense, but instead became extremely inconsistent. He caught eight passes in Week 4 last season just to be held to one reception the next two weeks, which happened frequently in his career with the Raiders: Perform excellently one week or even have two great back-to-back games just to vanish later. Premiere wide receivers are going to have bad games and that’s ok, but he disappeared enough times for him not to be trusted and ended up being shipped to another team.
On the other hand, Pittsburgh grew tired of Brown and his “childish” antics. They weren’t happy in their arrangement anymore and Brown was sent to Oakland. He went on to immediately ask for a new contract, one that made him the richest wide receiver.
Critics of Brown’s trade could point out that he is 30 years old, a diva and expensive, but that’s just optics because he is indeed older than Cooper, he’s got a more outgoing personality and he’s definitely more expensive than anyone else playing his position. That’s the thing though, Brown isn’t just another player, he’s arguably the best wide receiver of his generation, he doesn’t seem to be slowing down and is a potential Hall-of-Famer. He has the production the Raiders expected from Cooper and got tired of waiting.
Cooper now wants to be paid like the wide receiver people expected him to be, but not the one he currently is. The Raiders have the receiver they craved since 2015, they paid him what he’s worth and don’t have to wait anymore. However, that receiver isn’t Cooper though, he’s in Dallas and the Cowboys will have to pay him like the receiver he’s not. Then again, that isn’t the Raiders concern anymore.