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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Report: Amari Cooper asked Raiders to trade him

Amari Cooper

Jon Gruden seems to be cleaning house with the Oakland Raiders by stockpiling draft picks and trading away their best players, but the latest blockbuster deal was apparently set in motion by the player, not the coach.

Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic reports that Cooper wanted out of Oakland. While Cooper did not demand to be traded, Thompson was told by sources that the star receiver “set the wheels in motion” and the Raiders were essentially “obliging Cooper’s overtures and got a first-round pick out of it.”

The Raiders picked up the fifth-year option on Cooper’s rookie deal prior to the start of the season, so he will be under contract with the Dallas Cowboys through the 2019 season. After Gruden opted to ship Khalil Mack out of town in a similar situation, Cooper likely knew he was on borrowed time in Oakland anyway. It didn’t help that he has just 22 catches for 280 yards through six games this season.

Gruden is basically blowing things up in Oakland, and there’s a belief that Derek Carr could be the next big piece to go. Thompson reports that there has been a “fractured relationship” between Carr and some of his teammates this season. The quarterback has not played well under Gruden, and Gruden will be in a great position to draft a quarterback next year since he is armed with three first-round picks.

The way some Raiders players learned that Cooper had been traded speaks to the disconnect between Gruden and the team. At this point, no move the franchise makes would be all that surprising, especially if other players feel the way Cooper felt before he was shipped out of town.

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