The Advocate

Raiders betray Oakland again…

By Joel Umanzor, Staff writer

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The future Las Vegas Raiders traded away receiver, and the NFL’s fourth overall pick in the 2015 draft, Amari Cooper on Monday to the Dallas Cowboys in a blatant attempt at tanking the rest of the 2018 season.
In exchange for the 24-year-old Cooper, the lame duck franchise residing in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum will receive the Dallas Cowboys first round pick in the 2019 NFL draft.
So continues the garage sale that has surrounded the Raiders since coach Jon Gruden arrived as the “messiah” in a silver and black suit back in February.
The Raider narrative is that of a team incapable of signing young talent for the long term punctuated by a falsehood that a rebuild was inevitable.
Khalil Mack was too expensive.
Cooper wasn’t worth the money he is being paid.
Many of the pundits would like us to believe it was a steal for the Raiders to receive Dallas’ first round pick. And that Cooper has not shown himself capable of being a number one wide receiver on a playoff contender.
But no one was saying this in 2016.
It is laughable to try to justify that a 12-win team from two seasons ago (when the Raiders made the playoff at 12-4) with one of the most up-and-coming young rosters would, just 22 months later, be sitting on the verge of a complete rebuild.
However, here the Raiders are, in the midst of an emergency construction project that is no one’s burden to bear but their own.
With Vegas on the horizon and a lack of compelling star power, the franchise has been stripped to the studs and frame with no one guaranteed to see the move finalized.
And that includes the 125-million-dollar-man, quarterback Derek Carr. Even he is not immune from the prospect of being jettisoned.
Trading Cooper shows those on the national level that this team is ready to leave for Vegas and that management is packing light.
Getting rid of having to pay the 24-year-old wide receiver any more money than necessary for his services is all good business, especially with the bottom line being a clean economic slate in state-income-tax-free Nevada.
But what trading Amari Cooper right now symbolizes to those inside of Raider Nation is a return to the depths of mediocrity.
And that’s a place many in Raider Nation have been trying to ignore for the past seven weeks.
Many fans locally, and on social media, keep reiterating hopes that the team would be talented enough to make a push to the postseason while still in Oakland.
Doing so would serve as a sign of good faith between the much-maligned franchise and its fiercely loyal fan base.
Cutting another piece of the team that had the most success in Silver and Black since 2003 only shows the patient fans of the East Bay there is no more loyalty from those running the franchise.
The right of any fanatic, of any team, is that one can choose to remain irrationally loyal to entities that do not care about their support.
People can choose to either turn off the emotions involved in their fandom or sever ties completely.
I, for one, have packed all of my Oakland Raider gear away in a box and have it in my attic.
It is a part of me that will live on forever in the attic of my home and in my mind. But as a rational individual, as well as a rational football enthusiast, I refuse to co-sign on the narrative the Las Vegas Raiders are selling to their fan base — both the present one and those future fanatics..”

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Raiders betray Oakland again…