By Jerry McDonald firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted: 07/23/2012 10:48:57 AM PDT
The Raiders traded wide receiver Louis Murphy to the Carolina Panthers on Monday, freeing up salary-cap room and a roster spot for one of a handful of promising youngsters.
The Panthers agreed to send the Raiders a conditional draft pick in exchange for Murphy. An ESPN report said the teams agreed on a seventh-round pick.
Murphy, 25, led all Raiders wide receivers in receptions and receiving yardage in 2009 and '10. His production dipped last season after a sports hernia injury caused him to miss most of training camp and the first five regular-season games.
Murphy could not be reached for comment. He took to Twitter on Monday afternoon to wish the Raiders well and thank his fans.
"Thanking God for this opportunity!" Murphy tweeted. "Super excited to be a part of the @Panthers organization! Can't wait! #letsgopanthers!"
Murphy entered last season as the Raiders' No. 1 wide receiver. He finished the season behind Darrius Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore, Chaz Schilens and Jacoby Ford on the depth chart and with 15 receptions for 241 yards and no touchdowns.
Moore's surprise ascension, the quantum leap in performance by Heyward-Bey, along with strong showings by fifth-round draft pick Juron Criner and undrafted free agent Rod Streater this offseason, made Murphy's grip on a roster spot tenuous.
Murphy caught 75 passes for 1,130 yards in his first two seasons after being a fourth-round draft pick out of Florida. He said in early June that this season is a "crucial" one for him in terms of showing that last season's drop-off was an aberration.
"I have a big chip on my shoulder," Murphy said at that time. "I have a lot to prove. I hear the outside talking, and it's just part of me, with my mentality, that I have a lot to prove. Even if I don't, I just feel like I do."
This marked the second deal between Carolina and Oakland this offseason. In late March, the Raiders received running back Mike Goodson for backup offensive lineman Bruce Campbell.
Heyward-Bey pleaded no contest Monday in San Francisco to a misdemeanor for allegedly driving drunk across the Bay Bridge in April.
Heyward-Bey took what his attorney, Ivan Golde, called "a gracious plea bargain" offer from the San Francisco District Attorney: He pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge in exchange for a sentence of three years' probation, three months of DUI classes and some fines and fees.
Heyward-Bey "wants to put this behind him," Golde said.
Staff writers Steve Corkran and Sean Maher contributed to this report.