Amari Cooper’s High Price Has Other WRs Drooling

Photo: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have their guy — all three guys — after securing wide receiver Amari Cooper to a massive contract.

According to multiple reports, the two parties agreed to a five-year, $100 million deal with $60 million guaranteed. Cooper tops Michael Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr., Mike Evans and DeAndre Hopkins; and Cooper turned down even more money from the Washington Redskins.

The Washington Redskins reportedly offered Cooper what would have been a record setting contract, but the four-time Pro Bowl receiver had every intention of staying in Dallas. When the Cowboys placed the exclusive franchise tag on Dak Prescott before Monday’s deadline, it was expected Cooper’s deal would follow. After Dallas restructured running back Ezekiel Elliott and offensive tackle La'el Collins’ contracts, it poured money into securing Cooper.

The Cowboys can now focus on agreeing to terms with Prescott, who is reportedly seeking at least $30 million per year. It’s hard to imagine Dallas doesn’t have every intention to make that work with Prescott’s top target locked in. Cooper has his eyes set on a Super Bowl while other receivers across the league will have their eyes set on triple digits when it comes time to securing their own contracts — especially now that Cooper’s deal reset the receiver market.

Cooper is well worth the price, especially considering the first-round pick the Cowboys gave up to acquire him a year and a half ago. Since then he has blossomed into the team’s best aerial option and helped revive the Dallas offense.

In his first full season with the Cowboys, he recorded a career-high 1,189 yards and eight touchdowns. Sure, Cooper’s health isn’t where he or the Cowboys want it to be with questions surrounding his durability, but he’s proven himself worth the astronomical deal.

A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals

The top of the NFL’s receiving talent revolves around a handful of players and the Cincinnati Bengals wanted to make sure they secured theirs — for now. The Bengals placed a franchise tag on A.J. Green, who missed the 2019 season due to an ankle injury and seven games in 2018. But similar to Cooper, injuries haven’t stopped Green from being a bright spot for the struggling Bengals. Green could still request a trade and even hold out until a long-term deal is reached. If he comes back healthy in 2019 and is able to produce, his price could and should be high. In his last full season, Green recorded 75 catches for 1,078 yards and eight touchdowns.

DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals

Hopkins, the newly minted Arizona Cardinal, was reportedly unhappy with his contract. He had three years and $40 million remaining, and while a brand new deal likely won’t be worked out for a couple of years, Hopkins wanted it restructured under Bill O’Brien and the Houston Texans. Instead, the Cardinals committed a high-way robbery and got arguably the best receiver in the NFL while dishing out an aging running back, a 2020 second-round pick and a 2021 fourth-round selection. Arizona will have to address Hopkins’ deal at some point, and he’s worth more than Cooper commanded. The ceiling is now high, triple-digit high, for top pass-catchers.