ALAMEDA -- Daryl Worley has been traded before. By the team that drafted him, no less. It doesn’t feel great. The cornerback got shipped from Carolina to Philly, and eventually landed with the Raiders after a run-in with the law cost him a shot with his hometown Eagles.
The veteran cornerback understands the business side of the NFL. That didn’t change his reaction to the Raiders trading Gareon Conley to the Houston Texans for a third-round pick on Monday.
Worley and Conley are tight, and even were roommates during this year’s offseason program. They played opposite cornerback spots since the start of last season and formed a strong friendship and working relationship.
Worley was definitely bummed to see Conley go.
“This hits close to home but, because we’re good friends, it hits in a different sense,” Worley said after Wednesday’s Raiders practice. “I know the NFL is a business as much as anyone because I’ve been through what he’s going through now. I’ve been there before. But at the same time, Gareon’s a great player and he’s going to make plays over there.”
He could make plays against his old team right away. The Raiders play Conley and the Texans on Sunday at NRG Stadium. Houston head coach Bill O’Brien said Tuesday in a conference call that Conley will play Sunday, setting up an oddity that will set good friends up on opposite sidelines so soon after the trade.
“It should be fun,” Worley said.
The Texans might have some inside info, with Conley knowing former teammates' tendencies and Raiders' schemes so well. O’Brien downplayed the impact Conley could have giving away the Raiders' trade secrets -- let’s be real, they’re going to pepper him for info -- saying Conley will be more focused on quickly learning a new system.
“I don’t think there is that much of an advantage because I think that Gareon is coming in here and is going to have to learn what we do,” O’Brien said. “Kind of how our scheme works, how we meet, how we walk through, just kind of how we do things and there’s not going to be a lot of time for anything other than that. I don’t think you can read too much into it. It’s pro football, that’s the way things work sometimes. Sometimes you make a trade and you end up playing that team the very next week.”
The Raiders would rather have not traded Conley to their next opponent, but Houston put the best offer on the table. That sets up a strange meeting on Sunday, for sure.
“If we have to, we’ll throw at him,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said. “I love Gareon. I really enjoyed our time together. There’s no state tax in Houston. He’ll really enjoy that. … There’s not bad blood or going at anybody. He’s just on their team now. He’s a really good football player and a good friend. I wish him the best, except this week.”