The Patriots will decline Jonathan Cooper‘s option for 2017, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). The Patriots acquired the offensive lineman (and a second-round choice) from Arizona in the Chandler Jones trade.
After missing his rookie season due to a broken fibula, the 26-year-old started just 11 games for the Cardinals in the past two years, failing to carve out a long-term role in Arizona. However, he still has plenty of talent, and could play either guard or center on the Patriots’ line. The Pats were not expected to exercise their option on the No. 7 selection in the 2013 draft, but he could conceivably still be a part of the team’s plans if he plays well next season. Cooper’s option would have paid him in excess of $10MM but, right now, he’s probably worth one-third of that.
The Patriots received the No. 61 pick in this year’s draft in the Jones deal and wound up trading that selection to the Saints for pick Nos. 78 and 112. With that pick, the Saints took Ohio State safety Vonn Bell. New England, meanwhile, took N.C. State offensive lineman Joe Thuney and Georgia wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell.
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