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NFL notebook: Raiders trade WR Cooper to Cowboys

Sports Xchange
23 Oct 2018, 09:38 GMT+10

The Oakland Raiders traded wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie announced Monday.

The Cowboys, who need help at the receiver position, sent a first-round draft pick to Oakland in return.

Cooper, a Pro Bowl selection in his first two seasons in the league, is the second big-name player to be dealt by the Raiders in the past two months.

Oakland traded defensive end Khalil Mack, the 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, to the Chicago Bears in early September.

The Raiders now have three first-round picks -- their own, the Bears' and the Cowboys'.

The trades came in the first year of Jon Gruden's second stint as the Raiders' head coach.

Cooper was the fourth overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. As a rookie with the Raiders he had 72 receptions for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns and was named to the Pro Bowl. He was a Pro Bowl selection again in his second season, when he had 83 catches for 1,153 yards and five scores.

His numbers declined sharply in 2017, when he had just 48 catches for 680 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games, including 12 starts.

This season, while starting all six of Oakland's games, Cooper has 22 receptions for 280 yards and one touchdown. In two games this year he had over 100 receiving yards, but he had fewer than 20 yards in the other four.

--Pro Bowl linebacker Kwon Alexander sustained a torn ACL during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' overtime victory against the Cleveland Browns, and head coach Dirk Koetter confirmed that he will miss the remainder of the season.

An MRI confirmed the severity of the injury for Alexander, who exited the Buccaneers' 26-23 win prior to halftime.

Fellow linebacker Jack Cichy also sustained a torn ACL in Sunday's game, according to Koetter. Both players were placed on injured reserve.

Alexander planted his foot while blitzing Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield and went down without contact.

The 24-year-old Alexander's 45 tackles are second on the team. Alexander also has two forced fumbles and collected a sack this season.

--Star running back Le'Veon Bell has yet to report to the Pittsburgh Steelers' facilities despite the remainder of the team having done so, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

ESPN reported earlier this month that the three-time Pro Bowl selection planned to return either during the Week 7 bye or in the week following as the Steelers (3-2-1) prepared to host the AFC North rival Cleveland Browns (2-4-1).

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Steelers "have not heard anything from the running back and still don't know when he will return." Schefter added that there are "some sources around the league who believe that because Bell does not want to be traded, he will wait until after the NFL's Oct. 30 trade deadline to return to work."

--Former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth was released from prison after serving more than 18 years for conspiring to murder the mother of his unborn child.

A former first-round pick, Carruth completed his sentence of 18 to 24 years and exited the Sampson Correctional Institution in Clinton, N.C.

Carruth, who did not speak to reporters, devised a plot to kill Cherica Adams during a shooting in November 1999 as a means of preventing her from giving birth and paying child support. Adams was shot four times, but managed to make a 911 call that helped implicate Carruth. She fell into a coma and died about a month later.

On Monday, Carruth walked out wearing a knit cap and unzipped jacket just after 8 a.m. ET. The 44-year-old took a few steps before climbing into a white SUV.

--The Los Angeles Chargers opted to play it safe with star running back Melvin Gordon.

Gordon, who is nursing a hamstring injury, jogged across the turf at Wembley Stadium in London hours prior to Sunday's kickoff before abruptly pulling up. The 25-year-old was then made inactive for the game against the Tennessee Titans.

The Chargers (5-2) were able to overcome his absence and make a late defensive stand in a 20-19 win over the Titans.

"I felt like I had to protect him (Sunday)," coach Anthony Lynn said of the decision to sit Gordon, via the Los Angeles Daily News. "I don't want this to be a lingering thing. I want to get him back for Seattle (on Nov. 4). He's got a bye week off. He can get healthy, and hopefully we'll have a full-speed Melvin back in a couple weeks."

--Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson reportedly has requested a trade, but coach Steve Wilks that Peterson will not be traded.

Peterson has asked that he be traded by the Oct. 30 trade deadline, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Monday via Twitter.

Wilks said he has not heard from Peterson regarding the latest reports of a trade request, but said he plans to speak with Peterson about the issue in the near future.

He was emphatic that the Cardinal will not let Peterson go, though.

"We're not trading Patrick," Wilks said.

--Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson told reporters Sunday that he might need to get involved to provide a spark to his ailing offense. But on Monday he said that he will not take over the play-calling duties.

"I never said that I would take over the play-calling," Jackson said. "I just want to make that clear. I think sometimes things get said, written, whatever that is. When I said I'll do whatever I think I need to do, that is to help. If there was something that I needed to change, I would. Regardless of what that may be. I think my frustration, again as a coach, I got to be careful not to get too frustrated, too."

The Browns (2-4-1), who have lost two in a row, produced just 305 yards of total offense and went 3-for-14 on third-down attempts against the Bucs. The Browns' only points in the first half came on a safety.

Those numbers came on the heels of posting 317 total yards and converting 6-of-16 attempts on third down in the previous week.

--Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson faced some pressure from reporters one day after saying the pressure was off his team despite sustaining a third loss in the last four games.

Pederson was asked why he didn't run the ball more in the fourth quarter when the Eagles had a 17-0 lead over the Carolina Panthers.

He was asked why defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz didn't dial up more blitzes on Cam Newton as the Panthers began to shred his defense. Carolina marched down the field and scored three red-zone touchdowns in the final 10 minutes, 48 seconds to pull off an improbable 21-17 win on Sunday.

"You're getting into game plan stuff, you're getting into scheme and you guys aren't in there watching the tape like we are for 18 hours a day and putting game plans together," Pederson said. "It's easy to sit in the press box and say, 'Hey, they should run the ball.'

"Come down and stand on the sideline with me and make decisions. Let's run it here, let's pass it here, let's throw a screen here, let's get the quarterback out of the pocket right here, oh no there's 15 seconds left on the clock. Until you're down there with me, on the sideline making in-game decisions, then I guess you can ask all you want."

That was Pederson's final statement after about 15 minutes of questioning.

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