The Oakland Raiders traded edge rusher Khalil Mack prior to the start of the 2018 NFL regular season, and they might not be done dealing talented players. The team has been talking to teams about strong safety Karl Joseph and wide receiver Amari Cooper, according to FOX Sports reporter Jay Glazer.
Glazer’s report indicates the team is pushing harder on Joseph, but it seems pretty clear Jon Gruden is not overly enthused with Cooper’s work. The Raiders spent the 14th overall pick on Joseph in 2016, and the fourth overall pick on Cooper in 2015.
Cooper has been in a mess of a situation in Oakland. Derek Carr looked like he was going to be the Raiders guy, but he has struggled to get on track. Cooper has not been a dynamic playmaker the past season and a half, but we saw some big things his first and second seasons (72/1,070/6 and 83/1,154/5). Pro Football Focus points to him as a guy who has been more efficient in the slot.
Plenty of fans will clamor for the 49ers to make a move for Cooper. It would amount to a 1+ season assessment window. He is in the fourth year of his rookie contract. The Raiders exercised his 5th year option, which covers the 2019 season is worth $13,924,000. It is currently guaranteed for injury, and becomes fully guaranteed at the start of the 2019 league year next March. If the 49ers acquired him in a trade, they’d pretty much have to keep him through 2019, regardless of how the rest of this season goes. He would not get a chance to work with Jimmy Garoppolo prior to the start of the 2019 league year, so any assessment for the second half of 2018 would be based on his work with C.J. Beathard.
Karl Joseph suffered a hamstring injury in Week 3 and is inactive once again in Week 6. However, even before the injury he was barely playing — appearing in 11 total defensive snaps the first three weeks. He dealt with some injuries his rookie season, but had some solid moments his second season. The safety position is a bit shaky right now, but unless the 49ers can get him cheap for depth, I don’t see them making a move. Adrian Colbert and Jaquiski Tartt are both healthy now, and the team will want to see what that pairing can do. But given that Joseph is not playing, I have to think he can be had for next to nothing heading into the trade deadline.