The Cowboys did not wait for trade deadline week to make their move, unloading a first-round pick to land Amari Cooper from the Raiders. They look to have fought off several others to acquire the fourth-year wide receiver.
Reggie McKenzie said (via Vic Tafur of The Athletic, on Twitter) he spurned initial offers, but that five teams upped their offerings until the Cowboys parted with their next first-round selection. Teams were contacting the Raiders about Cooper as early as the offseason and continued to do so during the season’s opening weeks before recent media reports accelerated the process, McKenzie said (via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Scott Bair and the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Michael Gehlken, Twitter links).
One team that was in the thick of the pursuit: the Eagles. The defending Super Bowl champions were interested in Cooper, but Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (video link) other suitors ended up being scared off by the Raiders’ first-round demand. The Cowboys’ initial offer didn’t satisfy the Raiders, either, and they weren’t the first team to ask about Cooper. But executive VP Stephen Jones called McKenzie with the first-round offer and completed the deal Monday morning.
The Jets were involved as well, with Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweeting Gang Green had some interest in a player current team brass loved coming out of the draft in 2015. Just as in the case of Khalil Mack, though, the Jets chose not to part with the kind of draft compensation a trade ultimately required. It’s unclear, however, if the Jets made an offer, per Cimini.
Both the Redskins and Colts were rumored to be interested as well. The Jets are banged up at wide receiver and don’t have much in the way of long-term options at that spot. The Eagles just paid up for Alshon Jeffery and have Nelson Agholor on the books for 2019 via fifth-year option. Cooper now stands to be on the Cowboys’ 2019 payroll via $13MM-plus fifth-year option.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.