Al Davis had the New England Patriots. Reggie McKenzie just might have the Carolina Panthers.
When it comes to trade partners it seems like tradition that the Oakland Raiders have a go to franchise they can call on when looking to make a deal. Davis routinely dialed Bill Belichick and the Pats in recent years. During his fist offseason as Oakland’s GM McKenzie managed to trade twice with the Panthers.
On Sunday the Raiders and Panthers clash in an otherwise meaningless game of football in the grand scheme of things. However there is still plenty of drama not the least of which is the rehash of the two deals these two teams engaged in prior to the start of the season.
For Carolina they’ll be getting a good look at former backup running back Mike Goodson. The man made expendable by the Panthers’ stable of running backs has found a real home in Oakland and has thrived in the much discussed zone blocking scheme instituted by Greg Knapp.
Of course thriving is a relative term. It’s not like Goodson has become an elite level running back in the East Bay. But that’s not to say he hasn’t been productive. On the season Goodson has seen just 30 carries but he’s churned out 200 yards on the ground good for just under 7 yards a carry. That’s a staggering number considering how much Darren McFadden has struggled in the controversial scheme (just 3.4 yards per touch).
Last week was Goodson’s best showing as a Raider. In what has become the lone feather in Knapp’s cap this season, the Raiders running game finally flexed its muscle against the Kansas City Chiefs with Goodson falling just 11 yards shy of joining Run DMC in the 100-yard club that afternoon.
That almost half of Goodson’s carries on the season came in one game perhaps reflects something yours truly said months ago…this dude needs more touches. Not only has Goodson shown himself as a threat playing behind McFadden but he’s also a real weapon on screen passes and has even returned kicks with some success this year as well.
As for the Raiders, they’ll be reunited with Louis Murphy. It wasn’t all that long ago that Murphy was looking like a real gem of a 4th round draft pick. In his first two years as a Raider Murphy led all Silver and Black wide receivers in receptions and yards. Things were really looking up for Murphy despite his inconsistent and at times volatile nature. Then in his third season injury struck and a new crop of young receivers came into the East Bay robbing Murphy of reps by the time he was healthy.
The final nail in Murphy’s Silver and Black coffin came when McKenzie arrived with another set of young receivers in tow. Both Juron Criner and Rod Streater showed themselves to be plenty promising making Murphy expendable. Soon he would be shipped off to Carolina where his production has been limited despite playing in a wide open offense.
On the season Murphy has just 21 receptions, only six more than he had all of last year in his final injury shortened season in Oakland. However he has found the end zone once and has been much more productive in the last month of the season.
Of course there is one more man making a reunion as well having moved from Oakland to Charlotte. That man is the much forgotten Bruce Campbell. Once touted as the ideal Al Davis prospect, the athletic Campbell never settled in Oakland and isn’t having much better luck in Carolina.
So was all this dealing between the Panthers and Raiders the start of a new tradition? Only time will tell. Unlike the Pats-Raiders transactions none of these deals produced a mega-talent for the other team such as a Randy Moss or Richard Seymour. However both teams have benefited and for all we know the draft pick acquired in the Murphy deal could be used to find the next great Raider.