Raiders G.M.: Cowboys’ first-round pick was too much to pass up for Amari Cooper

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Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie says the decision to trade wide receiver Amari Cooper came because the Cowboys made them an offer they couldn’t refuse.

McKenzie said a first-round draft pick is so valuable in today’s NFL that the Raiders had to do it.

“We made a trade today to the Dallas Cowboys. It’s a trade that we feel it was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass on to get a first-round pick. In this business here, I thought that was invaluable for me. It was something I felt like I had to do,” McKenzie said, via Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Although Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones are the final decision-makers on the respective teams, McKenzie said he handled the deal with Cowboys executive Stephen Jones, Jerry’s son.

“He wanted the player, and he gave me the pick. That’s what it came down to,” McKenzie said.

The Raiders now have three first-round draft picks in 2019: Their own, the Cowboys’ pick, and the Bears’ pick from the Khalil Mack trade. The Raiders also have two first-round picks in 2020, their own and the Bears’ pick. Time will tell if Gruden and McKenzie use those picks wisely.

97 responses to “Raiders G.M.: Cowboys’ first-round pick was too much to pass up for Amari Cooper

  1. Reggie and Chucky must have stared at one another in slack-jawed disbelief when the offer was presented to them.

  2. Gruden is trying to get guys that LOVE the game of football; Amari fits the Cowboys culture perfectly. He’s WAY to inconsistent. I think it comes down to passion, Gruden is playing a lot of rookies and stock-piling on young draft picks. In 2 years, the Raiders will be kings of the AFC once Brady retires.

  3. .
    With the NFC East a toss up, Jones gambled hoping Cooper could be a difference maker. I think he overpayed. I was expecting Oakland to send a pick back to Dallas along with Cooper.
    .

  4. I think everybody would agree that the Raiders won this trade lol…

    I mean, Cowboys could have gotten someone like Demaryius Thomas for a 4th round pick at least.

  5. Reggie, Your job was offered to someone last offseason who refused it. Otherwise, you’d be gone already. You will be gone the day after the season ends. You actually did a decent job for a while there. But its slowly coming unraveled in Oakland

  6. The Roster deconstruction continues. What do they have to sell to the LV fan base now?

    An aging roster devoid of talent?

  7. Sounds like what was a typical trade – the owner approved of using the #1, so the GM offered. Would assume Reggie asked Gruden about trading away his best WR, but Reggie is who negotiated with son-of-Jerrah. Coach and GM working together – is that unusual?

  8. I’ll rag on the Raiders as much as possible but this is a great trade and a bone head move by the Cowboys…..

  9. Gruden to Mckenzie – “Ask them for a 1st rounder. Maybe we can get a 4th out of them.”

    Mckenzie to Gruden – “They accepted the offer.”

    Gruden to Mckenzie – “No they didn’t. They know they’re getting Amari Cooper, right?”

  10. How could they pass it up? The Cowboys are on pace for a 7-9 season, which probably means the raiders will have a pick just outside the top 10.

  11. I have to admit that it COULD work out great for the Cowboys. Right now the margin of error is so small within the NFC East, and the Cowboys are still well in reach of the division title. If Cooper lives up to even 75% of his potential, it could make the difference.

    But this kind of thing so rarely works. Odds are it won’t.

  12. 1st Round pick??

    Are the Cowboys crazy?

    I’m no Dez fan, but I would have resigned him for 2m instead of grabbing an unmotivated Cooper for a 1!!!

  13. Great trade on both sides. There’s a great WR in Cooper and if the Cowboys can motivate that great player out of Amari it will turn out great for them.

    As for the Raiders Gruden got his his start coaching receivers. As long as he’s with the Raiders I don’t think receiver will be a problem position for them……Once Gruden gets his coaching legs back under him from his 10 year hiatus.

  14. I see a Rick Pitino/Boston Celtics situation unfolding in that franchise. It’s hard to play for a coach who doesn’t necessarily have the repuation and cache to justify having all the latitude to trade players and run the draft.

  15. To all you Cowboy Fans who keep saying The Cowboys will be fine with Stephen Jones running things. The Cowboys are doomed as long as the two Jones Idiots are in charge.

  16. For all you novices, this is about a 17 or 18th pick in the first round. You aren’t getting a premium pick. So let’s not overreact.

  17. It took the Rams 4 years to come from worst to first after trading their top 2 pick and got a huge haul of draft picks.
    Gruden’s got 10 years and the move the LV coming in 3… On paper seems that this is a real good move so far. Of course, they could screw up the draft picks, but that will be for another discussion.
    Is Carr next?

  18. Ugh a first?? Come on man. I’d say in Jerry we trust but I don’t want to look like an imbecile.

  19. Sorry to say this but it doesn’t matter who plays WR for the raiders as long as Derek Carr is the qb. He’s garbage. I thought he was going to be good but he just isn’t.

    Gruden noticing this is doing all he can to get the ammo to identify and acquire his next QB. Anything else and he’s just lost his mind and has no business in the NFL. It’ll take 3 years (genius) to determine if he’s right or wrong.

  20. So Oakland, LA, Vegas, how does it feel to have your team ripped apart by your former beloved coach that only plays for draft choices and salary?

  21. When Cole Beasley is your current WR1, you’re in trouble.

    Amari Cooper is a 24-year-old top 5 talent in the draft. The guy can flat out play. I’m not convinced that his recently low production numbers don’t have to do with the Raider’s poor offense as a whole.

    It would have been nice to get him for a 2nd rounder. However, the Cowboys are desperate for WR talent…

    That being said, I hope the Cowboys prosepcts crash and burn.

  22. Brilliant move by the Boys – They have looked at 2019 draft and knew that their biggest need was going to WR – was a rookie WR who we draft going to give us a immediate # 1 receiver – the answer was a no. So we just used our #1 on a 24 year old two time pro bowler that is a win win scenario. They have Cooper, Gallup and Beasley which gives them some options in the passing game.

  23. First round picks in the top 10 are valuable. Those near the bottom of the draft order are not as valuable. The Cowboys are not bad enough as a team to make their first round pick valuable. Trading him to Buffalo or Arizona (or even Frisco) would net them a more valuable first round pick for example.

  24. illgivemyopinion says:
    October 22, 2018 at 4:03 pm
    For all you novices, this is about a 17 or 18th pick in the first round. You aren’t getting a premium pick. So let’s not overreact.

    Have you been watching the Cowboy’s games this year? There upcoming games are going to be a lot tougher then what they have faced so far. The Cowboys will be lucky to finish 6-10.

  25. luchey says:
    October 22, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    The Roster deconstruction continues. What do they have to sell to the LV fan base now?

    An aging roster devoid of talent?
    ————————————————————————————-
    If you do not understand that this was highway robbery by the Raiders, I cannot help you. Every GM in the league not named Jones would have personally driven Amari Cooper to the Cowboys facility in return for a 1st round pick.

  26. Makes no sense, Phins got a 4th for Jarvis Landry and they can’t get a water boy for Devonte Parker. You don’t give away #1’especially for a average player.

  27. Wow. Raiders redeem themselves for the brutal Mack trade. Cooper hands have looked more like tennis racquets the last 2 years the way balls have been bouncing off them. Cowboys are desperate for WR help and this trade reflects that desperation.

  28. You can all quit worrying about Las Vegas… if the early ticket sales are any indication, it will be years of sell-outs and no one cares. I put my $100 in the FIRST DAY and tried to get in on the early sale of PSL’s this year and was told that there is so much demand, forget about it, unless you have a Oakland or LV zip code. (Yes, they’re selling a lot to Oakland and Raider’s Nation will be hitting the strip 8 times a year from Oakland, exactly what the team said, and no-one believed them…)

  29. I was hoping my team would get Cooper for a 3rd and a serviceable starter on D. A 1st? In what world where Josh Gordon is worth a 5th is Amari Cooper worth a 1st? He seems like a good guy and a decent player but he’s inconsistent. Most definitely not worth a 1st, especially with Dak throwing the ball. He’s been a little better in recent weeks, but still not fantastic.

  30. Everyone who says the Jones have no idea how to run an organization should not be making comments -they have a talented roster who is one of the youngest in the NFL at average age 25.6 years old -they have roughly 70 million in cap space for 2019 and will have flexibility to re-sign Demarcus Lawrence / Earl Thomas / Byron Jones etc. And they still are right in the think of the NFC East race they are actually one of the top front offices in the NFL.

  31. and this is why the Cowboys are avg team year in year out. The Cowboys weren’t going anywhere without this kid, and they are going no where with this kid. Another dumb move by the Cowboys.

  32. If Gruden has any say in personnel they are wasting their time ,he’ll draft bust after bust after bust ,How did that roster in Tampa work out when he forced Mckay out?
    Has anyone been able to name a QB that the supposed QB whisperer groomed?
    Don’t bother there isn’t one…

  33. A 1st round pick for Cooper is good compensation and it could be capitalized on if the Raiders were to select wisely, i.e. if they had someone competent in charge of the draft.

    However the reality is that Gruden has a track record of making awful draft picks so there’s a high likelihood that this pick along with the 1st rounders from the Bears won’t pan out.

  34. Now even more college players have to worry they’ll get drafted to go sit in a modular office park in the desert and get barked at by Gruden for 14 hours a day. Basically the movie “Holes” but with a Lombardi theoretically buried out there somewhere.

  35. I thought Gruden was brought in to bring the Raiders back to prominence? They were 12-4 with these guys that were just pushed out the door. Tear down/tank in full effect. This is a good deal for Oakland no doubt but who thinks that Gruden will be able to draft the next Mack or stud WR in the next draft?

  36. Why am i the only one that thinks the Raiders got shafted here?

    Seriously, Dallas already set their own precedent of a 1st and 3rd for an underachieving WR when they traded for Roy Williams…

    If he was only dealing with Stephen, he should have asked for Jerry…

  37. isithockeyseasonyet says:
    October 22, 2018 at 4:32 pm
    Might make them marginally better this year but when they realize dak isn’t good enough, they sure are going to regret not having this pick
    ———————————————————–
    You are correct. Dallas would have been better served by trading for Carr. QB’s are much harder to find in the draft than WR’s. I think they will be looking for a new QB soon and they won’t have the ammunition to trade for one – and they won’t have the pick to draft one

  38. thudd321 says:

    October 22, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    When Cole Beasley is your current WR1, you’re in trouble.

    Amari Cooper is a 24-year-old top 5 talent in the draft. The guy can flat out play. I’m not convinced that his recently low production numbers don’t have to do with the Raider’s poor offense as a whole.

    —-

    Top 5 talent? So? Corey Coleman and Kendall Wright are top 15 picks and you can have them at the league minimum. Then you have guys like Diggs (5th round) and Thielen (undrafted.) Draft position means nothing.

  39. Feeling back for Jordy Nelson. Nothing to draw any coverage. Tough to get booted out of GB and then end up on a rebuild right at the end of your career. Well, you’ll take home more college money for your kids I guess.

  40. Great comments folks. When the cards fall onto the tabletop at the end of this season and at the end of next season (draft pick successes) you can then pass judgement on this bonehead trade in either direction. Someone will be a genius and the other will be a numbnut!

  41. I love Cooper because he’s clean nd quiet, but I’m ecstatic about getting a 1st for him because he’s a little too easy going and definitely not Gruden’s kind of guy.

  42. joetoronto says:
    October 22, 2018 at 5:03 pm
    I love Cooper because he’s clean nd quiet, but I’m ecstatic about getting a 1st for him because he’s a little too easy going and definitely not Gruden’s kind of guy.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Next it’s Carr to the Giants, just move baby!! He is not Gruen’s guy either.

  43. Because you’ve been sooo great drafting in the past. It’ll be another wasted Raider pick in a couple years, like they’ve all been. 2 decades in the basement of the league and only Carr (who isn’t all that good) to show for it…

  44. thegreatjimbrown says:
    October 22, 2018 at 4:55 pm
    Feeling back for Jordy Nelson. Nothing to draw any coverage. Tough to get booted out of GB and then end up on a rebuild right at the end of your career. Well, you’ll take home more college money for your kids I guess.
    ________________________________

    LOL. It’s cute that you think Cooper was drawing off any kind of significant coverage. Where you been?

  45. “Then you have guys like Diggs (5th round) and Thielen (undrafted). Draft position means nothing.”
    ______

    Great. Go out and field a team of 5th round and undrafted players. See how far that gets you.

  46. Well, the demented ghost of Al Davis did find a new host in Jerry Jones when Davis passed away, so these insane trades, drafts, and personnel moves should come to no surprise.

  47. It’s obvious the Raiders are setting themselves up to have a very competitive roster by the time they roll into Vegas. These three 1st rounders could so easily be converted into a pile of good picks that would provide a solid foundation for that roster.

  48. A first rounder is very valuable, and the bad Cowboys could even end up with a top 5 pick!

    Just imagine what the Raiders could get with a top 5 pick…

    They could get someone like Amari Cooper!

  49. I haven’t heard Khalil Mack’s name being called for the last three weeks. He must have disappeared. The Raiders got two #1’s for Mack’s disappearing act. Plus, the Bears have been losing, so those draft picks get better with every loss. But Gruden doesn’t know anything, right? Lol.

  50. Great. Go out and field a team of 5th round and undrafted players. See how far that gets you.

    Ummm… the Seahawks did it. Only Okung and ET were high first round picks (in Pete/JS’s first draft) and the team made 2 SBowls with a bunch of 3+ round draft picks and FA’s. So it can be done, but it’s rare, and very hard to reproduce, I’m sure.

  51. “Ummm…the Seahawks did it…the team made 2 SBowls with a bunch of 3+picks and FAs.
    ______

    Marshawn, 1st round. Earl Thomas, 1st round. Bobby Wagner, 2nd round. I hear what you’re saying, but the Seahawks still needed 1st and 2nd round players.

    Even your point of 3rd round picks, e.g. Russell Wilson, shows how stupid the original commenter’s point was.

  52. “In 2 years, the Raiders will be kings of the AFC once Brady retires.”

    I don’t know about that.

    First you’re assuming the Pats won’t find another competent QB.

    Second KC looks like the real deal these days, though we’ll have to see in the playoffs this year but their skill players are blazing fast. Given another couple years to develop they’re going to be a tough out for any team in either conference.

  53. campcouch says:
    October 22, 2018 at 7:21 pm
    How is it that in three years the Raiders were a team on the rise to suddenly rebuilding again?
    ****************************************

    I think it goes like this. The Raiders have had one winning season in 16 years. That means 15 years were probably the real deal, and the one year was the fluke. Unless you’d buy into the idea that the one winning year was the real deal, and the other 15 were the fluke. If that’s the case, I’ve got 15 bridges I’d love to sell you.

  54. This was a good trade. Cooper’s hands have a bad case of the drops. I’m surprised the Raiders got a #1 pick for him. Good for the Raiders, let the rebuilding begin!

  55. Well, well, well. With 5 first rounders in the next 2 years, they could parlay them into 10 2nd and 3rd rounders. It means squat though if they don’t draft wisely, which is hard to do.

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