Coming off a breakout 2013 season, Riley Cooper is poised to hit unrestricted free agency next month, and the wide receiver is expected to draw significant interest if and when he hits the open market, a league source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. While Eagles GM Howie Roseman has referred to the team’s receiving situation as “complicated,” the team would like to bring back Cooper, according to Florio.
Cooper, 26, became a full-time starter for the Eagles in 2013 in the absence of the injured Jeremy Maclin, and notched career-highs in virtually every category. Cooper finished the year with 47 receptions, 835 yards, and eight touchdowns. Still, with Maclin headed to free agency as well, the club may not have the cap flexibility to re-sign both players. There’s a belief among Eagles beat writers that the team will try to re-sign one of the two, then draft a receiver, though there’s no consensus on which veteran will return.
Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer expects Maclin to be a priority for the Eagles, while suggesting that Cooper could earn in the neighborhood of $5MM per year on the open market. ESPN.com’s Phil Sheridan, meanwhile, is skeptical of Cooper’s free agent value, predicting that the club is more likely to re-sign Cooper than Maclin. Sheil Kapadia of PhillyMag.com also weighed in this morning, writing that if the market for Cooper is as active as Florio suggests it will be, the Eagles would be wise to move on and focus on Maclin.
There’s a good chance that the Eagles will meet with reps for both free agent receivers at this week’s scouting combine.