The unexpected but not surprising (given the new “retirement” trend among troubled players) decision of Eagles receiver Riley Cooper to step aside from pro football gives the Eagles two things they desperately need.
First, they need to bring an end to what quickly had become a major distraction, both externally and internally. Second, they need to find out if they can function without Cooper.
As one source with direct knowledge of the situation tells PFT, Cooper already would have been cut if Jeremy Maclin hadn’t torn an ACL six days ago. With both Maclin and Cooper gone, the Eagles have DeSean Jackson, Jason Avant, and pretty much no one.
This gives the Eagles a chance to see who’ll step up and/or who else they may bring in before making a final decision on Cooper.
Likewise, the Eagles will be able to see whether the internal problems subside — and they’ll be able to predict whether Cooper’s return would rip off any lingering scabs.
The decision ultimately will be driven, we’re told, by football considerations. If the Eagles believe they need Cooper in order to be competitive, they’ll keep him. If the Eagles believe they don’t, they’ll move on.
They don’t have much time to make a decision. By August 27, the roster must be cut from 90 to 75. Four days later, the Eagles must get to 53.
That gives the Eagles four weeks and one day to keep Cooper on the active roster, to cut him, or to move him to a reserve list.
Possibly, the reserve/retired list.