The Cowboys and Amari Cooper have exchanged figures this offseason, but it doesn’t sound like there will be a new deal in place between now and September. In an appearance on ESPN (video link), Cooper indicated that he is willing to prove his value over the course a full season in Dallas before agreeing to a long-term pact.
Not now,” Cooper said when asked if he should be the NFL’s highest-paid receiver. “Definitely looking forward to earning that respect and definitely looking forward to coming into this year and just putting up those numbers for my team and really showing what I can do in a full season as a Dallas Cowboy. I know that I have the skillset to be one of the highest-paid receivers. I’m just all about going out there and proving it.”>
Cooper posted two 180-plus-yard games (and a 106-yard playoff showing against the Seahawks), but his two previous seasons with the Raiders were rife with inconsistency. Even after arriving in Dallas, Cooper posted four games of 40 or fewer receiving yards, so it’s no surprise to hear that there’s a gap between the two sides in negotiations.
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.
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