Oakland Raiders: Was the Louis Murphy Trade a Warning From McKenzie?
Jimmy Hal – Jul 26, 2012
Ever since Reggie McKenzie was named the general manager of the Oakland Raiders, the term "new regime" has been used synonomysly with the Raiders. In fact, one could assume it is the new slogan for the franchise to go along with "Commitment to Excellence", "Pride and Poise" and "Just Win Baby".
This "New Era" led by McKenzie, has brought in a new front office, coaching staff and draft philosophy with very little interferance from new owner Mark Davis.
It says one thing: There is a new sherriff in town and from a football operations perspective, this sherriff may also be the mayor as well. The trade of Louis Murphy may have proved that.
There are a number of reasons why the trade of Murphy made sense. Murphy's role with the team was slowly, but surely diminishing as current talent developed and new talent impressed.
The obvious names are Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore, as 2011 was a great season for both young receivers. Jacoby Ford's role in 2011 shrunk due to injury, but he still is a great weapon on special teams.
The surprising thing was the emergence of two rookie receivers, one of which not being drafted. Fifth round pick Juron Criner had a stellar session of OTA's and received a lot of media attention for his accomplishments. The telling of the Raiders' intentions for Murphy was during mandatory mini-camp.
Projected starter Denarious Moore was sidelined by a minor injury and the Raiders opted to let undrafted rookie Rod Streater take his place with the first team offense, rather than the newly healthy Murphy.
Another important factor for Murphy's deaparture was the salary cap.
It is not a secret that McKenzie has had to make a lot of hard decisions to cure the salary cap problem. Trading a receiver the team was likely going to cut while also freeing over one million dollars of cap space was probably one of the easiest decisions he's made.
But, is there another reason Murphy received the exit? Was it more than just emerging talent and money relief?
There was speculation that Murphy had been disgruntled since the injury to Jason Campbell last season. It seems Murphy was not a fan of how Campbell was treated. Due to these emotions, Murphy never built a rapport with Carson Palmer since his arrival. Though Murphy has never been seen as the type to cause a locker room controversy, he has been known to sometimes loose his cool on game day.
Could McKenzie be trying to rid a distraction before it flourished? Was Murphy's trade McKenzie's way of warning the rest of the team to get on board with the new program?
Rumor has it, Ford felt similarly to Murphy in regards to Campbell's treatment. Could he be next?
How will Heyward-Bey respond to one of his best friends on the team being traded? Keep in mind that Murphy and DHB were once considered the future of the wide receiver position for the Raiders, and their friendship goes back even further than their professional careers.
McKenzie is making the kinds of moves that he feels will benefit the organization in the long run. If any player wants to be apart of the building process, they need to pledge their allegience now or it might be to late.
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