The odds of the Raiders getting as much production out of a future seventh round draft pick as they did out of Louis Murphy are long. So you can pretty read between the lines to see that Reggie McKenzie’s latest move was all about creating more cap space.
The Raiders received a conditional seventh-round pick in exchange for Murphy. That lone condition is that Murphy must make Carolina’s roster coming out of camp, something that was far from guaranteed had he remained in Oakland. So McKenzie did well to get anything now instead of nothing later had the team simply cut Murphy from the 53-man.
If all goes according to plan the Raiders will have another pick in the seventh round come 2013 where they’ll hopefully unearth another Chaz Schilens but in all likelihood will settle for another Jeremy Ware.
But what the Raiders ultimately gained via the Murphy deal means next to nothing. What the Raiders lost – Murphy’s $1.26-million salary for 2012 – goes much further in the here and now.
McKenzie can’t toss Murphy’s rookie deal into his out-of-whack contract pile. This trade was a case of simple math. Why pay one wide receiver to be a 4th option when you can get two rookies for the cost of one Murphy? Juron Criner and Rod Streater did enough during OTAs to convince McKenzie that his team would be just fine minus Murphy.
Now the only hope is that one of the inexperienced Raider receivers will be ready if and when their number is called. Murphy might have been on his way down the depth chart but at least you knew he was ready to roll when called upon.
Such is the nature of the business of football. Some moves are made with the team in mind. Others are made with the checkbook as the priority. This trade had elements of both as the team can move forward grooming new talent while also gaining a little more breathing room under the cap.