ALAMEDA (CBS SF) — Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr took to social media Tuesday, defending the team after an avalanche of criticism over the trade of star wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys for a first-round draft pick.
Many Raiders fans were irate over the Cooper trade and the trade at the start of the season of reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears for a pair of first round picks and a second round pick.
“I’m a Raider,” Carr wrote on Twitter. “It’s not a “popular” thing to be a Raider right now, but I am and I love it. I love the struggle of trying to fight back for our city when not a lot of people believe in us.”
The fans also have been angered by the team’s announced move to a new stadium in Las Vegas for the 2020 season. That led Caey Wall to tweet back: “Which city are you fighting back for, Oakland or Vegas?”
Former teammate Marcel Reece came to Carr’s defense, tweeting: “REAL Raiders are born-not manufactured. WE dont waiver and we love and represent the shield the best we can everyday no matter what. Keep being you bro, we have been through worse.”
Carr also scolded the team’s critics, claiming the lockeroom would not become unraveled over the trades or the club’s 1-5 start.
“People can try all they want to tear us apart, but it’s not happening to the real ones,” he tweeted.
The Raiders have stumbled in coach Jon Gruden’s return to the sidelines and have been reportedly shopping a number of players around the league. Carr, reports say, is not being shopped around.
When asked about the Cooper trade, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie says it was a deal too good to pass up.
“This is where we get a great opportunity to build,” McKenzie said. “We’ve got pieces now, but we can really rebuild on what we have. With this group, the coaches that I’ve got here, knowing where we’re heading schematically on both sides of the ball and special teams, we’re going to build this thing. we’ve got the ammunition to build this thing really well.”
The Raiders have now dealt two key pieces away from a 12-win team in 2016 and look to be in major rebuilding mode now.
“It’s disappointing. Real disappointing,” McKenzie said. “It was starting to get that way last year when we somewhat took a nosedive, but I understand the NFL, the system will not allow you to keep them all.”