Jonathan Cooper

Panthers Host G Jonathan Cooper On Visit

Richie Incognito‘s return from suspension led the Raiders to release Jonathan Cooper. The former top-10 pick is already generating interest.

The Panthers are hosting Cooper on a visit Thursday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. The 29-year-old blocker is a Wilmington, N.C., native and is a former Tar Heel. Cooper, though, has made his way through several teams and has suited up for four franchises over the past four seasons.

Carolina has Trai Turner and Greg Van Roten installed as its guard starters and drafted Dennis Daley in the sixth round this year. However, reserve offensive lineman Brandon Greene has not practiced this week due to a neck injury, creating a potential need for depth up front.

Cooper played for the Cardinals, Browns, Cowboys and Redskins over the past four seasons. He was also with the Patriots and 49ers in this span. The 2013 draftee did not play for the Raiders this season, being a healthy scratch in each of Oakland’s first two games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Release Jonathan Cooper

The Raiders released guard Jonathan Cooper, the club announced Tuesday. This comes shortly after Richie Incognito‘s two-game suspension concluded.

Cooper signed with the Raiders this past July to serve as a potential stopgap starter in the wake of Incognito’s ban. Cooper was inactive for the Raiders the past two weeks.

Since being selected seventh overall by the Cardinals in the 2013 draft, Cooper has played for Cardinals, Browns, Cowboys, Redskins and Raiders. He caught on with the Redskins because of injuries last season and joined the Raiders because of a suspension. With Incognito back this week, there was little reason to keep the seldom-used blocker on the roster.

Oakland played without both of its first-string guards over the first two weeks, with Gabe Jackson still recovering from injury. With Jackson improving, the Raiders’ offensive line is soon set to look quite different.

Raiders To Sign G Jonathan Cooper

On the first business day after Richie Incognito‘s suspension was announced, the Raiders moved to add some guard depth and perhaps a stopgap starter. They agreed to terms with Jonathan Cooper, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

The former first-round pick did not come close to living up to his lofty draft slot and was a pre-Week 1 release last year, despite inking a mid-level 49ers deal. But Cooper has started 31 games since being drafted No. 7 overall in 2013 and stands to supply the Raiders with another option at left guard.

Incognito will miss the first two games of this season. Denzelle Good resided as the Raiders’ previous left guard starter. He now figures to compete with Cooper for that role in Weeks 1-2.

Cooper, 29, was a 13-game Cowboys starter in 2017, leading to the 49ers guaranteeing him $4MM last year. They opted to go with Mike Person over Cooper in their starting lineup. Cooper resurfaced with the Redskins late last season; he started four games with Washington.

The Raiders waived wide receiver Montay Crockett to make room for Cooper on their 90-man roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/4/18

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Atlanta Falcons

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Miami Dolphins

Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington Redskins

Redskins’ Jonathan Cooper Done For Year

The Redskins are down one quarterback and a starting lineman after Monday night’s loss to the Eagles. Guard Jonathan Cooper suffered a torn biceps tendon that will end his season, as Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.

[Redskins’ Colt McCoy Suffers Season Ending Injury]

Cooper, a former first round pick, started in each of his 13 appearances last year with Dallas. He hooked on with the 49ers in the offseason, but failed to make their final cut. Finally, last month, he found an opening with the Redskins after starting guards Brandon Scherff and Shawn Lauvao were lost to injury.

Cooper started in all four of his games for the Redskins, seeing time at both left guard and left tackle. His ~200 snaps didn’t give us much of a sample, but the metrics at Pro Football Focus rated him as a below-average protector.

The 28-year-old (29 in January) graded out as the No. 35 guard in the NFL last season, per PFF, and his past performance should allow him to draw some interest on the open market. Unfortunately, he probably won’t live up to the promise that many thought he had in 2013 when the Cardinals made him the No. 7 overall pick.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Sign G Jonathan Cooper

The Redskins’ offensive line depth chart looks incredibly different a day after the group was ravaged during a Week 9 loss to the Falcons. Multiple starters are now on IR and new faces will have to acclimate quickly.

Another newcomer will be Jonathan Cooper. The former top-10 pick-turned-journeyman signed with the Redskins on Monday. Cooper has not played this season. The 49ers signed him to a near-$5MM deal this offseason but cut him after the preseason’s conclusion.

Washington lost starting guards Brandon Scherff and Shaun Lauvao, who have since been placed on IR. Trent Williams is also dealing with an injury. Veteran Austin Howard is now on the team. So is Luke Bowanko, who joined Cooper and Howard in agreeing to terms Monday.

The Redskins also worked out offensive linemen Chris Scott, Zac Kerin and Matt McCants. Instead, they opted for some higher-profile blockers in Howard, Cooper and Bowanko. Washington remains in first place in the NFC East, sitting at 5-3, but the blowout loss to Atlanta suddenly has this somewhat surprising run in jeopardy of fizzling. The Eagles are one game back.

Cooper worked out for the Ravens in September. This latest mid-Atlantic trek is the only other known audition in which the former Cardinals first-rounder is known to have participated. Although he’s bounced around, the North Carolina alum started 13 games as the Cowboys’ left guard last season. That landed him a one-year, $4.95MM 49ers contract. But that stay was brief. San Francisco opted to go with Mike Person over Cooper as a starter.

Bowanko spent time with the Patriots this offseason but didn’t make their 53-man roster out of camp. He worked out for the Browns and Bears earlier this season.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/17/18

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s of Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • TE Nick O’Leary (link)

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

49ers Release OG Jonathan Cooper

A former first-rounder is now looking for a new gig. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the 49ers are releasing offensive guard Jonathan Cooper.

After being selected as the seventh-overall pick in the 2013 draft, Cooper spent the first three years of his career with the Cardinals. He was traded to the Patriots in the Chandler Jones deal back in 2016, but he didn’t last the entire season in New England. Since then, he’s spent time with the Browns, Cowboys, and 49ers.

After appearing in only five games during the 2016 campaign, Cooper ended up starting each of his 13 appearances in 2017 with Dallas.

Cooper’s release will boost the chances of several lineman to make the 49ers’ roster. This grouping includes Garry Gilliam, Joshua Garnett, and Erik Magnuson.

NFC West Rumors: Donald, Wright, Cards

The Rams seem to be preparing their fans for a contract coronation soon, continuing to declare they’re near the goal line of the Aaron Donald negotiations. After Sean McVay made comments about the Donald deal being close to completed, Rams GM Les Snead confirmed this two-offseason saga is nearing completion. He added, via Pro Football Talk, nothing’s been agreed to just yet. After Donald reported into the regular season and won defensive player of the year acclaim despite being in a new defense, the fifth-year player’s late arrival probably won’t mean much to the Rams. But the results of this process will be plenty important for Khalil Mack and others seeking to raise a defensive salary ceiling that’s remained stagnant for two years as quarterbacks’ wages have skyrocketed.

Over the past year alone, the top of the QB market has climbed by 24 percent, with Joel Corry of CBS Sports tweeting Donald or Mack will have to sign for a $23.66MM deal to match that kind of increase. Von Miller‘s $19MM-AAV agreement — signed in July 2016, when the highest-paid quarterback wasn’t yet making $25MM per year — remains the top defender contract.

More from the NFC West, moving to another longtime defensive starter, here:

  • A Seahawks defense that already jettisoned four Super Bowl-era starters this offseason may be without another in Week 1. K.J. Wright underwent surgery on Monday and probably won’t be ready when the Seahawks face the Broncos next Sunday, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes. Pete Carroll categorized this procedure as a “cleanup” but said a couple of weeks would be the most optimistic timeline. Shaquem Griffin‘s first start, then, figures to occur sooner than expected. Condotta confirms the fifth-round rookie will start if Wright can’t go.
  • Jonathan Cooper went from signing a near-$5MM contract with the 49ers this spring to possibly being a post-preseason casualty. A slow recovery from knee surgery has Cooper on the 49ers’ bubble, Corry notes. Cutting Cooper, who is behind Mike Person and Joshua Garnett at right guard, would cost the team $4.48MM in dead money.
  • Two notable names appear to be competing for the final Cardinals receiver spot. Former Cowboys rotational cog Brice Butler signed a two-year Cardinals deal but is not a lock to make the team. He and one-time Browns second-round pick Greg Little, who hasn’t played since 2014, may be vying for one job, with Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com writing he wouldn’t be surprised if Little beats out Butler. He has Butler making the team ahead of Little, however. A Butler cut would cost the Cards $500K in dead money.

NFC West Rumors: 49ers, Suh, Seahawks

Because of the lack of a solidified position, Jimmie Ward has enjoyed a unique start to his career. He’s been shuttled between cornerback and safety throughout his run with the 49ers, and despite returning to play for the same defensive coordinator in a second consecutive for the first time as a pro, Ward still doesn’t have a surefire position. Robert Saleh used him at safety last season after Jim O’Neil stationed him at cornerback in 2016. He saw action at both spots under Eric Mangini in 2015. Now, the 49ers are again ready to see if he can play outside corner again.

Jimmie Ward is a guy who’s played some outside corner in his career,” John Lynch said, via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. “We’re going to experiment with that this offseason and see if that’s viable and give him some time there.”

The 49ers have Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon penciled in as cornerback starters, and Maiocco reports they don’t intend to re-sign Eric Reid. So, keeping Ward at safety would make more sense from a personnel standpoint. But the team nevertheless intends to persist experimenting with the fifth-year player as a corner. However, Maiocco notes the 49ers view 2017 seventh-rounder Adrian Colbert as a possible starting-caliber safety alongside Jaquiski Tartt.

Here’s the latest from the NFC West:

  • Speaking of positioning, the Rams will play Ndamukong Suh at nose tackle in their 3-4 base set, Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com reports. Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers will play outside in Wade Phillips‘ base set, and Suh will play a position at which he’s lined up around 3 percent of his career, per Gonzalez. “Those are things that we talked about with Ndamukong,” Sean McVay said earlier this week. “We wanted to make sure, ‘Hey, do you feel good about the way we envision you?” Suh, who’s played only for teams that utilized 4-3 sets in his eight-year career, will see plenty of time as a 4-3 defensive tackle once the Rams are in sub packages. Los Angeles used sub sets 70 percent of the time last season.
  • Expected to be in the mix for wide receivers this offseason, the 49ers instead backed off of this year’s top UFA targets. Maiocco reports they weren’t interested in either Sammy Watkins or Allen Robinson but are expected to target a wideout in the draft. “What you don’t want to do is have a bunch of guys who are OK but are paid like the best,” Kyle Shanahan said. “That’s where you get in trouble and have to stay away from in free agency. It’s usually why the draft is the best way to go.” San Francisco extended Marquise Goodwin this offseason and has Pierre Garcon due back as well.
  • UFA signee Jonathan Cooper will line up at right guard initially for the 49ers. Laken Tomlinson will slot in at left guard, per Maiocco, who adds a slimmed-down Joshua Garnett will compete with Cooper for the right guard job. Tomlinson started 15 games at left guard for the 49ers last season. Last year’s right guard, Brandon Fusco, left in free agency. A 2016 first-rounder, Garnett started 11 games as a rookie.
  • The Seahawks are again in need of a backup quarterback. The team waived Trevone Boykin, and Austin Davis remains unsigned. Colin Kaepernick does not appear to be in the team’s plans, per Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. Kaepernick visited the Seahawks last year before the team signed Davis. Geno Smith met with the team this week, and Mark Sanchez has also been linked to Seattle. Sanchez’s former backup with the Jets, Kellen Clemens, also has ties to new Seahawks OC Brian Schottenheimer. The 34-year-old backup could interest the Seahawks, per Henderson. Clemens also worked under Schottenheimer with the Rams.