Is Amari Cooper waiting for Julio Jones to do a deal?

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The Cowboys want to sign receiver Amari Cooper to a long-term deal, but the negotiations apparently are going nowhere. That’s possibly because Cooper is curious about where another receiver’s effort to get a long-term deal ends up.

Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram contends that the Cowboys believe Cooper is waiting to see what Julio Jones gets from the Falcons before finalizing a deal in Dallas. And that makes plenty of sense.

Jones could become the highest-paid receiver in the league, and that would definitely impact the Cooper negotiations. Indeed, the Cowboys may be trying to base Cooper’s deal on the $13.924 million that he’s due to make this year and the franchise tag (at least $17 million) in 2020, which works out to $31 million or so over the all-important first two years, an average of $15.5 million annually. If Jones gets more than $18 million per year in new money on his extension in Atlanta, Cooper may aim higher than the formula generated by his first-round option year and the franchise tag.

Cooper also has other leverage when it comes to maximizing his compensation. The Cowboys traded a first-round pick to get him, and they publicly (and repeatedly) have declared that he’s their 2019 first-round pick. Even if those comments came with tongue partially planted in cheek, the Cowboys surely didn’t surrender a first-round selection for roughly 1.5 seasons with Cooper.

Then there’s the fact that Cooper performed very well during his time with the Cowboys, energizing the passing game and actually making the first-round pick they gave up to get him seem to be too light.

From Cooper’s perspective, what’s the rush? He has a fully-guaranteed salary of $13.924 million in 2019, and at a minimum he’ll either become a free agent or receive the franchise tag in 2020. As long as he’s willing to carry the risk of injury and/or ineffectiveness for one more season, Cooper holds most of the cards.

31 responses to “Is Amari Cooper waiting for Julio Jones to do a deal?

  1. Cooper is no Julio Jones. This trend of massively overpaying solid to solidly above average players to the point of making them among the highest paid at their position based simply on how recently teams signed them needs to stop.

  2. Maybe they didn’t intend to give up a 1st round pick for a guy to only have him 1.5 years but they should have thought about that before trading for him. Who didn’t see this coming? Apparently everyone but the Jones’s.

    Given his track record how can you pay him Julio Jones type numbers, especially when you consider all the other players they have to pay (Zeke, Dak, the OL) in addition to their other big signing this off-season. They wanted Dez Bryant to take a paycut because he was too expensive. How can they then turn around and give Cooper $30M+ over two years (and who knows how much more for longer)?

    This has all the makings of the Le’Veon Bell situation last year. Cooper could just sit out if he doesn’t get a deal and hopefully hit the open market next year. I’m not sure what the rules are and if that’s possible. However, if he thinks another team is going to give him Julio Jones type money he’s going to get the same surprise Bell did.

  3. Cooper wanting more than Julio freakin’ Jones, lol

    Still don’t like the Mack trade, but Cooper for a 1st was a smart piece of business.

  4. Wait, Jones I’d holding out again for more money? Didn’t he do that last year and the year before too? Then of course AB and OBJ will be crying for more as well. Unbelievable.

  5. skunkb3ar says:
    May 25, 2019 at 11:54 am
    Cooper is no Julio Jones. This trend of massively overpaying solid to solidly above average players to the point of making them among the highest paid at their position based simply on how recently teams signed them needs to stop.
    _________________
    Actually Cooper is 6 years younger than Julio and should still have a career that is trending upward. A Julio contract should be the minimum that Amari should consider.

  6. I love that the Cowboys boxed them selves in, giving up a 1st round pick for a half season tryout. And now have to pay through the nose.
    The Raiders made out like bandits.

    Cooper hasn’t proven he’s elite, but who can blame him for using whatever leverage he has to get paid.

  7. Teams are going to study every inch of film on this guy before they pay out big bucks. Just need to find one coach who can convince his GM that he’d be able to motivate this guy to give a better effort than what they see on tape. There are some inexperienced GMs out there, so there’s still hope.

  8. >> If Jones gets more than $18 million per year in new money on his extension in Atlanta, Cooper may aim higher than the formula generated by his first-round option year and the franchise tag.

    Except Cooper isn’t elite, and can’t justify that.
    Either trade him or tag him in 2020.
    Then either tag him again or let him walk.

    The team takes far less risk that way.

  9. How can you hate the Mack trade? Gruden wasn’t planning on being any good for a couple years so why sink massive money into a middle of his career linebacker. It was a no brainer move.

  10. There’ only way Amari Cooper’s name should come up in the same sentence as Julio Jones and it should be: Amari Cooper is nowhere near as good as Julio and should never be compared to him for any reason, ever.
    If Dallas has put themselves into a position where Cooper’s trying to get Jones’ money and they’re thinking about giving it to him based on half a season’s work, I see a lot more c=scenarios where Dallas regrets this than I do Dallas reaping the benefits.

  11. skunkb3ar says:

    May 25, 2019 at 11:54 am

    Cooper is no Julio Jones. This trend of massively overpaying solid to solidly above average players to the point of making them among the highest paid at their position based simply on how recently teams signed them needs to stop.
    ———-
    The only way that’s going to stop is if the salary cap stops going up but that isn’t going to happen. Unless your job gives raises at the same time every employee every year, which is fairly common, it likely happens at your job as well.

  12. I just hope he doesn’t follow Jones when he is whining for more money in a year or two. AJ Green is the one these guys should be emulating. He signs a fair contract then plays it out without whining for more.

  13. Hard to see how Dallas makes this all work unless they get creative and defer a lot of money into the deep future, a la New Orleans. Of course, that means the players must cooperate.

    Even so, there’s a difference in that New Orleans is financing their current window with Brees whereas Dallas would be doing it with Dak. It’s true New Orleans hasn’t managed to buy a SB in recent years, so even their paying for now with future money is arguably foolish. But it could also be argued their prospects are better than Dallas’ unless you believe Dak and Garrett are equal to or better than Brees and Payton.

  14. Actually it’s not most players who show up greedy it’s the agents. Watching pro football every year you can’t miss that Antonio Brown has been the best of the best. Except for his last game with Pittsburgh where he didn’t play he played every game and was outstanding. Where’s the trouble with that player. It’s with the press. Jullio Jones is the same type player as AB, outstanding except for the pass in the end zone in the championship game in Philadelphia that went sailing through his hands. Everybody living makes errors. OBJ in my opinion is a true proven head case and will rip apart that Cleveland team unless they are winning every game. The Jets hiring Bell is a typical Jets blunder worst yet their new head coach. Proven looser who has yet to look up during any game. Watch him, guy can’t take his eyes off the almighty play chart. Sorry Jets fans.

  15. Jones is a proven commodity. He has been able to be a league leader for his entire career. Jones doesn’t drop many ball if he gets his hand on it. Cooper has been hot and cold his entire career. He has good games and games where he disappears from the offense. To date, Jones has been more valuable than Cooper. Jones is older than Cooper. Jones is on the downside of his career. Cooper is in the middle of his.

    The debate goes on, who deserves the most money? I’m all about paying players on their value to that team. I’m not so concerned what other players make. I’m not a fan of long term contract where the players get paid more every year of the contract. I am a big fan of giving a base salary and performance incentives.

    Every player will eventually have suffer some sort of declining skills. The way it is with long term contracts, that player will have either take a reduced salary or be cut. No player wants to willingly give up salary. That player may still have value to that team, but not at that salary. That creates a delima of what to do with that player. Tying a contract to incentives, make a lot of sense. You get a base salary monthly, and incentives at the end of the year.

    I know it won’t be popular with most players. Players want everything they can get up front. Players also want security. Long term contracts including an incentive base, is security if you think about it. It’s probably more secure with a less chance of being cut when your skill level slightly declines.

    It would take every team to look at it the same way. I also think teams will keep overpaying their players and cutting them at the end when their contract exceeds their ability. The NFL doesn’t like change!

  16. Cooper certainly is not in the same league as Julio, but he’s closer to Julio than Dak is to a QB.

  17. His agent didn’t do it w Mack,m and it worked, why wouldn’t he do it w Cooper, as they can say he saved their season.

  18. Dude sucks with 1 team, gets traded, has 6 good games, then all of a sudden he thinks he’s A.J. Green. Coop is not on the same planet as Julio, AJ, Antonio, Jarvis, etc.

  19. That football off of Cooper’s facemask while wide open for a TD in the pro bowl is all anyone ever needs to see when debating Cooper vs the leagues elite. It sums up Amari Cooper’s career so far.

  20. All the comments that say that hes not the same player as Julio I think that’s obvious but the problem the cowboys have is what choice do the cowboys have. They did this to themselves. They traded for him knowing they would have to pay him the next year. That’s part of the reason that this was such a bad trade. The advantage of have a first round pick is to get a potentially R
    really good player but at a relatively good price for 5 years. Jerry traded his for half a season. Complete desperation move. Desperation spells bad news for negotiating contracts.

  21. Coopers agent knows the cowboys are going to have to pay up. they traded a first for him, and they wont get that in return if they tried to trade him themselves.

    Gruden saw the writing on the wall with Mack ( same agent as cooper ) as soon as Mack held out they knew it would be the same with Cooper and jumped at that first round pick for him.

  22. “As long as he’s willing to carry the risk of injury and/or ineffectiveness for one more season, Cooper holds most of the cards.” But therein lies the rub, and it’s one that pro-player PFT likes to ignore. Cooper has a pretty established history of injuries even going back to college, and his fault or not “his” production has spiked down as well as up. So injury or perceived ineffectiveness is VERY MUCH IN PLAY for him, more so than with most players. He shouldn’t rush to sign an extension right away, but he should lock one down this offseason.

  23. Cooper has one or two off the chart games per year, average in about 6-8 games and completely disappears in the rest. If you play physical with him early in the game he tends to disappear. If he gets going early he can have a good or great game. Not an elite receiver, just above average. At the price he is asking, glad the Raiders moved on. Would much rather have Brown’s production over what Cooper has done.

  24. Dude, get your money now! Don’t wait to see what another man’s going to get. What happens if you suffer a career-ending injury or accident while peeping at somebody else’s wallet!? Furthermore, Julio Jones has been far more consistent! You had one decent season—last year. Go get those dollars!

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