Show of hands if you thought Monday afternoon in the NFL would be enlivened by a Patrick Peterson trade request. And keep 'em up if you fully expected the Raiders to deal Amari Cooper -- for a Cowboys' first-round pick, no less.
Yeah, it's been a more exciting day that you probably banked on when you rolled out of bed.
Breaking: A source tells me that WR Amari Cooper will be traded to the Dallas #Cowboys.— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) October 22, 2018
Cooper changing teams isn't such a big surprise, as his exit had been rumored for some time. But to land a first-round pick for his services? That's just a huge return for a guy whose production dropped off noticeably in 2017 following two seasons over 1,000 yards to start his career.
And it also proves that while the Cowboys are ready to roll the dice in an effort to go big here and now, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and front office boss Reggie McKenzie have finally proven that they're actually capable of formulating a positive rebuilding vision for the future.
Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie said he got phone call this morning from Cowboys exec Stephen Jones. “He wanted the player, and he gave me the pick. That’s what it came down to.”— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 22, 2018
Stocking up on picks is always an enticing proposition. But to be able to do so in advance of the Raiders' high-profile relocation to Las Vegas is deft.
This swap won't make anyone in the Bay Area forget about the colossal mismanagement of the Khalil Mack drama. Not by a long shot. But it's a decidedly positive step on the road to resurgence -- a road that could very well include more moves ahead of the league's trade deadline.
Oakland might not be done: #Raiders are still open to moving CB Gareon Conley and S Karl Joseph.— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) October 22, 2018
But just look how the team is setting itself up:
New #Cowboys WR Amari Cooper’s fifth-year option for $13.9M comes off the books for Oakland. With these trades, the #Raiders now have $74M in cap space entering the 2019 offseason. And three first-round picks. That’s the flip side. … And I’m gonna guess those picks will be early— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 22, 2018
Sure, this franchise could absolutely bungle this first-round pick and find themselves worse for the wear. But for now, Gruden and Co. have got to feel like winners.