Today, in an altogether unsurprising move, the Raiders traded WR Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys. The surprising part is that Dallas paid Oakland a first-round pick in return, which is a terrific haul for a player with the production level of Amari Cooper. But the Raiders were offered other deals first, according to NFL Network’s Michael Silver:
I’m told the Eagles offered a second-round pick to the Raiders for Amari Cooper last week. Raiders held out for a 1. Got it today from Philly’s NFC East rival. Colts also had interest. @AroundTheNFL @nflnetwork— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) October 22, 2018
Sometimes when you play hardball with trades, it can hamper your ability to get a deal done. Other times, it works out like this, and you get the deal you want. The real value of Amari Cooper is probably something like a fourth-round pick, but Brandin Cooks and Sammy Watkins have both been traded quite recently for first-round picks, setting a market value. So the Raiders were right to hold out, even at the risk of not getting a deal done.
The trade rumors that have been going around about Cooper stated that the Raiders weren’t actively shopping him, but that teams were told the price was a first-rounder. The Raiders found themselves in an advantageous position wherein multiple teams were calling them, offering deals. Silver says the Colts were offering as well, and Washington was also reported yesterday as a potential trade partner.
This is also how the Khalil Mack deal happened, and we know over half the league called and offered something for Mack. The Raiders got two firsts for Mack, and he was surely worth at least that much. Cooper was by no means worth a first, but the Raiders got that anyway. If they don’t make any other moves, which seems unlikely, the Raiders will have three first-round picks and $74 million in salary cap space. Those are some solid assets for a team that is clearly rebuilding before a move to a new city.