Amari Cooper shrugs off criticism of trade from Raiders to Cowboys


Amari Cooper shrugs off criticism of trade from Raiders to Cowboys

People say some insulting things on Twitter, especially to those in the public eye. Jimmy Kimmel has turned cold-blooded correspondence into comedy on his late night talk show during a popular segment called “Mean Tweets,” and that concept has spread to other stations and markets.

Enter Amari Cooper and an interview he did Thursday at Super Bowl LIII Radio Row.

Some people took shots at the Cowboys this season for acquiring the three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver from the Raiders for a first-round draft pick -- though they came around quickly when helped secure wins -- and he faced that head on during a chat with New England Sports Network.

NESN's Michaela Vernava read to Cooper mean tweets from media members, not fans, who didn’t like the trade, and he shrugged them off.

“Know thyself. That’s how I think about it,” Cooper said while promoting Gatorade during a tour through Radio Row. “If I feel like I’m a handsome guy and somebody calls me ugly, why would react to it if I really think I’m handsome? It’s the same approach.

"I know that I’m a good football player. I know what I can do on the field, so it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks.”

Some believe Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who also run the team's personnel department, gave up too much to acquire Cooper. Raiders fans said good riddance to Cooper on his way out, believing him to be too inconsistent to be a top NFL receiver.

[RELATED: Goodell says Raiders want to stay in Bay for 2019]

Cooper struggled some under Jon Gruden, but he flourished in Dallas with upticks in targets and overall production, and the team surged to an NFC East title and a playoff win after acquiring the dynamic receiver. Cooper finished with 53 catches on 76 targets in nine regular-season games for 726 yards and six touchdowns in Dallas.

“It was either feast or famine for me,” Cooper said in an interview with ESPN. “Some games, I would have 100 yards and 10 catches. Some games, I would have less than 10 yards. It was kind of a struggle at first.”

Source: Curtis Riley agrees to contract with Raiders to help secondary

Source: Curtis Riley agrees to contract with Raiders to help secondary

The Raiders continued fleshing out their secondary on Friday agreeing on terms of a contract with safety Curtis Riley, a source said. The former New York Giant visited the team’s Alameda facility on Thursday and left without a deal, but he ended up taking the Raiders offer despite interest from other teams.

Riley hinted at a pact on Twitter, saying he was coming to the Bay Area. He’ll exchange coasts after starting all 16 games at free safety with last year’s Giants. He had 75 tackles, four interceptions and five pass breakups for that squad.

He’ll have an opportunity to play significant snaps in the Raiders secondary. High-priced free-agent signing Lamarcus Joyner is also a free safety but is expected to play slot cornerback regularly in 2019, likely shuttling back and forth between positions.

Riley could step in as the free safety in sub packages that defenses spend significant time in nowadays. Erik Harris will compete for that role opposite strong safety Karl Joseph.

The Raiders have options in the secondary now, with the aforementioned safeties and depth at cornerback. Gareon Conley’s a virtual lock to start at one outside cornerback spot. Daryl Worley’s expected to return on a second-round free-agent tender, through Thursday’s signing Nevin Lawson will compete for time there as well. Last year’s fourth-round pick Nick Nelson will have to fight for time with this new defensive back depth chart.

The Raiders could well draft another defensive back as well, especially if a good one slips and becomes a great value pick.

[RELATED: Mayock explains the importance of pro day tour]

News of Riley’s agreement should excite quarterback Derek Carr. Riley’s a fellow Fresno State alum and was teammates with Carr in 2013.

The Raiders also had interest in George Iloka, who played with defensive coordinator Paul Guenther in Cincinnati. Iloka visited the Raiders complex Thursday but left without a deal and scheduled other visits. 

How Jordan Devey signing gives Raiders versatile offensive line depth

How Jordan Devey signing gives Raiders versatile offensive line depth

The Raiders hope Rodney Hudson plays every single offensive snap in 2019. He might be the league’s best center, and is the unquestioned leader along the offensive front.

They need a Plan B, even if they never hope to use it. Jon Feliciano was the primary reserve at guard and center, leaving a void upon signing with the Buffalo Bills.

Jordan Devey will fill it. The former Kansas City Chief signed a one-year contract with the Raiders on Thursday, the team announced, adding depth and versatility to an overhauled front.

Devey spent parts of five NFL seasons with New England, the 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, primarily as a reserve guard. He played more center over the past two seasons, and has some tackle work on his resume. Devey finished last season on injured reserve with a pectoral issue

Offensive line coach Tom Cable prizes versatility, especially with a need on the inside. Second-year pro Brandon Parker is expected to be a swing tackle.

Kolton Miller and Trent Brown will be starting tackles, with Hudson at center. Gabe Jackson and Denzelle Good look like starting guards at this time.

[RELATED: Raiders GM Mike Mayock explains the value of important pro day tour]

Devey was clean cut Thursday when signing with the Raiders, but he rocked a pretty serious mullet last season in Kansas City.