The 2018 NFL season was rough on former Raiders guard Kelechi Osemele.
On the way to a 4-12 record, head coach Jon Gruden brought about significant change to Oakland's roster, particularly through two major trades involving two of the most talented players on the team.
Prior to the start of the season, defensive end Khalil Mack was shipped to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a bevy of draft picks.
A couple weeks later, the fire sale continued, as standout receiver Amari Cooper was traded to the Dallas Cowboys for a 2019 first-round pick.
Losing Mack was hard enough on the veterans still on the roster. But the subsequent trade of Cooper increased the pessimism within the locker room.
"It was so unbelievable, it would have been like if an alien had landed on the field," Osemele recalled on Bleacher Report's The Lefkoe Show. "People were just shocked, like what the hell is going on right now."
Osemele went on to reveal that the trade was never communicated directly to the players despite occurring during practice.
"That for sure was like the dagger," Osemele said of finding out Cooper had been traded. "You could feel it. Like, people were talking about it in the locker room, like, 'Yo, I guess they're like really rebuilding.' You just, like, knew at that point."
The Raiders slogged to a 4-12 finish, tied for the worst record in the AFC. Several of the picks they received in exchange for Mack and Cooper were put to use during last month's draft, and the players they used those selections on will play a major role in ushering in Gruden and new general manager Mike Mayock's renewed vision for the team.
Of course, Osemele won't be a part of that vision. He was traded, along with a sixth-round selection to the Jets back on March 9 for a 2019 fifth-round pick.
Osemele will get his first opportunity to face his former team when the Raiders play at the Jets in Week 12.