Panthers Add WR Louis Murphy Via Trade With Raiders
The Carolina Panthers just added some more talent to their wide receiver corps. According to Jason Cole via Twitter, the Panthers have swung a trade for Oakland Raiders wide receiver Louis Murphy. The Raiders are expected to receive a late-round draft pick in return, but full details were not given.
The trade is an unexpected move by Carolina, who by all accounts appeared to be content with their wide receivers on roster. The coaching staff has offered nothing but praise for number two wide receiver Brandon LaFell, who is entering his third season, as well as third-year receiver David Gettis, who is attempting to return from an acl tear that kept him out of the 2011 season.
Murphy joins LaFell, Gettis, rookie Joe Adams and star veteran Steve Smith and figures to push for the number two or number three spot on the roster. While potentially facing elimination on Oakland’s roster due to injuries and inconsistency, Murphy figures to get a fresh start and could have a shot at winning the number three job ahead of David Gettis and Joe Adams, and depending on play, could even supplant LaFell for the second spot across from Steve Smith.
At the very minimum, Murphy offers explosiveness and potential, and will bring competition to a receiving corps that apparently needed more reason to press harder in the eye’s of the coaching staff.
Murphy showed promise as a rookie in 2009 when he caught 34 passes for 521 yards and four touchdowns, but like most Oakland Receivers, was held back by inept quarterback play by Jamarcus Russell.
That would be the only season that Murphy would play a full 16 games, however, as he began struggling to stay healthy starting in 2010, despite showing signs of improvement with 41 catches for 609 receiving yards.
Murphy’s luck appeared to run out in 2011, however, as he once again struggled mightily with injuries and only was active for 11 contests, finishing his third season in Oakland with just 15 receptions and zero touchdowns.
The addition of Murphy should end speculation of Carolina having any interest in bringing on veterans such as Plaxico Burress, Terrell Owens or Braylong Edwards. While adding one of those big names or another veteran still isn’t impossible, the addition of Murphy now makes it much less likely.
Still just 25, Murphy has the ideal size and athleticism to excel in the NFL, but must stay healthy and show he can still make plays on a consistent basis. Competition will be easy for him to find in Carolina, but even if he doesn’t make the final roster, he could at least play a helping hand in making the Panthers receiving corps strive to be better in 2012.