The Carolina Panthers have acquired wide receiver Louis Murphy from the Oakland Raiders for a conditional late-round draft pick. The trade was first reported by Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports! and later confirmed by the Raiders.
Murphy, who was fighting for a roster spot in Oakland, will join a Carolina team that has a much bigger need at wide receiver.
Murphy was Oakland’s most productive wideout in 2009 and 2010, compiling 75 receptions for 1,130 yards and six touchdowns during that span, but struggled in 2011 after undergoing sports hernia surgery late in training camp. In 11 games last season, Murphy caught just 15 passes for 241 yards. This decline in performance, coupled with the emergence of Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey last season, and rookies Juron Criner and Rod Streeter this offseason, made the fourth-year pro an expendable commodity.
The 6-foot-2, 213-pound former Florida Gator could be a valuable addition to a Panthers receiving corps, which – outside of Steve Smith – is young and unproven. While Brandon LaFell, who really came on last year for the Panthers, will likely be the No. 2 guy behind Smith, it’s anybody’s guess who will fill up the depth chart after that. Murphy will join David Gettis, Armanti Edwards, Seyi Ajirotutu and rookie Joe Adams in the crop of Carolina receivers competing for playing time this offseason.
With the departure of Jeremy Shockey and Legedu Naanee, Cam Newton will need at least one more consistent weapon in the passing game. Murphy, who has shown flashes of big-play ability in the past, has the potential to be that guy.
This is the second trade between the Panthers and Raiders this offseason. Back in March, Carolina shipped running back Mike Goodson to Oakland for offensive lineman Bruce Campbell.
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