Oakland Raiders Thin Receivers Group, Trade Brice Butler To Dallas


The Oakland Raiders addressed their desperate need for receiving talent this offseason by signing Michael Crabtree, drafting Amari Cooper, and hanging on to UDFA Seth Roberts. They had a receiving group deeper and more talented than they’ve had in some time. They also had a bit of a logjam on their hands as there are only so many balls to go around. The Raiders addressed that crowded group today by dealing Brice Butler to the Dallas Cowboys.

Butler turned heads during training camp this year and for a time, led the Raiders’ receivers in catches and receiving yards during the exhibition season. He was eventually overtaken by Roberts in those categories, but Butler did enough to hang on to a spot on the 53 man roster.

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Many thought that with Andre Holmes suffering a broken hand, that Butler would be able to slide into a spot in Oakland’s receiving rotation. That didn’t turn out to be the case though, as Butler was one of Oakland’s inactives for the season opening game against the Bengals.

While Butler’s trade is a surprise to some, it perhaps shouldn’t be.

At 6’3” and 213 pounds, Butler has the size and speed to be a good NFL receiver. But, if there is one word to describe him, it is “inconsistent.” While many were wowed by his preseason performance this year, they need only recall last season when he was impressive during the exhibition season only to disappear once the the games started to count.

If you recall, Butler had a pretty outstanding exhibition season in 2014. But once the regular season rolled around, Butler saw his name called less and less frequently as his drops and mental errors increased exponentially. For the year, in 10 games (with two starts) Butler caught 21 balls – on 35 targets – for 280 yards and two scores.

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This offseason, Butler again got people excited by putting up some pretty good numbers during the exhibition season. Numerous columns again spoke glowingly about Butler’s “emergence,” and talked about how he is in line for a bigger role in Oakland’s offense – as if we hadn’t seen him play before.

Yet, he was inactive for Sunday’s game, the odd man out of Oakland’s receiving group.

While the Raiders are flush with receiving talent, the Dallas Cowboys found themselves in a tight spot after their all-world receiver, Dez Bryant, required surgery to insert a screw into his broken foot. It’s an injury that could keep him out for half the season.

Desperate for help, the Cowboys brought in free agents like Hakeem Nicks, Nick Toon, Austin Pettis, and Clyde Gates for tryouts. Obviously not satisfied with the results of those workouts, they dialed up the Raiders and made a deal for Butler.

In exchange for Butler, the Raiders will receive a conditional sixth round pick in next year’s draft. If Butler remains on the Dallas roster for at least six games, Oakland will get Dallas’ fifth rounder next year in exchange for Oakland’s sixth.

All in all, it sounds like a win-win for both sides. The Raiders get another draft pick – and we know how much Reggie McKenzie loves his draft picks. Assuming he’s still around to use it, that is. They also get to unload a player who was obviously not fitting into their plans at the wide receiver spot. And Dallas gets a short term solution – inconsistent though he may be – while Bryant recuperates from his injury.

Next: Raiders Week One Gamers and Goats