The Oakland Raiders have been making some big moves in the off-season, but none as huge as trading for wide receiver Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers. There was plenty of speculation to where Brown would end up, but the Raiders were not the expected landing spot. Trading for Antonio Brown was a major move on behalf of the Raiders, but it may not have been the right move. This is because a wide receiver is only as gifted as the ability of the quarterback to get him the ball. In the case of the Oakland Raiders that would be Derek Carr (who has done nothing significant since the 2016 season).
In regards to the quarterback situation in Oakland, a perfect example of receivers talents being wasted is seen in Amari Cooper who is now a Dallas Cowboy. In Oakland, Cooper’s catch percentage was never over 63 percent for his first three seasons. Meanwhile, in just over half a season in Dallas, his catch percentage was 69.7! Another interesting fact is that after 2016 (Derek Carr’s last year of relevancy) Amari Cooper’s career started to spiral downward. In 2017, Cooper only had 680 receiving yards, and at the start of the 2018 season (in Oakland) Cooper had 280 yards in six games. Once he was traded to Dallas, however, he had 725 yards in nine games. Cooper went from averaging 47 yards a game to 81 yards a game. The receiving numbers are not the only thing that shifted though.
Before the Dallas Cowboys acquired Amari Cooper, they were standing at 3-4 without high hopes of getting into the playoffs. After Amari Cooper came, the Cowboys went 7-2 and made it to the divisional round of the playoffs. Amari went from struggling on a sub-par team with a mediocre quarterback, to saving a struggling offense that just needed a boost. The fact that Oakland failed to utilize a star receiver of this caliber goes to show what a waste the trade for Antonio Brown was. Until the Raiders can fix their broken offense, bringing in a top five receiver is just smoke and mirrors.
The Oakland Raiders made a good move in signing offensive lineman Trent Brown from the New England Patriots, but that is not enough. Until the Raiders can figure out how to come up with a better game plan, Oakland will continue to be where careers go to die, and talent is thrown down the drain. Examples of this include Marshawn Lynch, Carson Palmer, and now possibly Antonio Brown.