The talks between Amari Cooper and the Cowboys are not progressing at this juncture, according to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (on Twitter). Cooper and the Cowboys are at a stalemate, Hill notes. This news comes less than two weeks after progress in the sides’ negotiation.
While the team remains confident a deal will be finalized, Cooper’s camp continues to study the market, Hill adds (Twitter link). This market could also change fairly soon, if/when Julio Jones signs his third Falcons contract.
Cooper has obviously not proven to be on Jones’ level, his past two seasons rife with inconsistency. Even after arriving in Dallas, Cooper posted four games of 40 or fewer receiving yards. However, his two 180-plus-yard games (and 106-yard playoff showing against the Seahawks) have surely inflated his asking price. So does the cost of the Cowboys’ initial Cooper investment.
The Cowboys have placed a priority on extending Cooper since trading their most recent first-round pick for him, viewing this as a better investment than taking a receiver in a draft featuring plenty of uncertainty at this spot. Dallas began re-up talks with Cooper and Dak Prescott, putting an Ezekiel Elliott deal on the back-burner for now.
Cooper is attached to a $13.9MM fifth-year option price in 2019. Entering his age-25 season, the former top-five pick is in line for a big contract — one that did not look certain when he was struggling with the Raiders for a second straight season. With seven receivers earning at least $16MM per year, including Sammy Watkins (one 1,000-yard season compared to Cooper’s three), it seems likely the Cowboys will end up going north of that threshold. How far north represents one of the many components in the Cowboys’ complex offseason.
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