The Oakland Raiders have officially announced that they have traded Louis Murphy to the Carolina Panthers. The transaction, which was first reported this morning by Yahoo’s Jason Cole via Twitter, sends Oakland’s top wide receiver in 2009 and 2010 to the NFC South in exchange for a “conditional draft pick.” Neither team has disclosed the details in regards to what round pick it will be, but CSN Bay Area’s Paul Gutierrez is reporting that it is a “late” round pick. Adam Schefter is saying that it is actually as late as a 7th round pick.
Murphy was Oakland’s best wide receiver in both 2009 and 2010. That may not say much, since nobody on the team really had any gaudy numbers. He has accumulated 1,371 yards on 90 receptions along with 6 touchdowns in 3 years since being drafted in the 4th round (124th overall) of the 2009 NFL draft.
Murphy’s production plummeted in 2011 for a couple of reasons. For one, injury held him to only 11 games last year. Second, he was overshadowed by Darrius Heyward-Bey’s breakout year along with Denarius Moore’s emergence as a rookie. You throw Jacoby Ford in the mix, and it made it very difficult for Murphy to get on the field, even when healthy.
The straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, wasn’t Murphy’s lack of talent. The biggest factor in the eventual decision to trade him for almost nothing (if reports of the 7th rounder are correct) was the consistently good play by rookies Juron Criner and Rod Streater in off season OTA’s.
Louis Murphy will get an opportunity to compete for a starting job in Carolina, something he would not have been able to do with the logjam at receiver in Oakland.