The Jonathan Cooper experiment in New England has ended before it had a chance to begin.
The Patriots parted ways with guard Jonathan Cooper on Saturday, whom they received in an offseason trade with the Arizona Cardinals. The move comes as somewhat of a surprise, as there had been no indication Cooper’s status was in jeopardy, though injuries have kept him from seeing the field this year.
Cooper was selected seventh overall in the 2013 draft by the Cardinals. Heralded as a top prospect, Cooper couldn’t find his groove in Arizona. He had been taking first-team reps with the Patriots during spring OTAs, but he injured his foot on the third day of the team’s training camp and hasn’t appeared in a regular season game thus far.
Cooper has appeared in 23 total NFL games and made 11 starts for the Cardinals during his stint there.
Though unexpected, Cooper’s departure has no real practical impact to the team, as Shaq Mason will continue to start at right guard with rookie Ted Karras spelling him as needed.
Even with Cooper flaming out, the offseason trade hasn’t turned out to be a total loss for the Patriots. New England also scored a second-round draft pick in the deal with Arizona, which it then parlayed into two more picks a trade with the New Orleans Saints–third and fourth rounders–that the team used to draft guard Joe Thuney and wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell.
By cutting Cooper and placing quarterback Jacoby Brissett on injured reserve, the Patriots are able to clear the two rosters spots needed to activate Tom Brady and Rob Ninkovich, who both return from four-game suspensions this week.
In other Saturday roster moves, the Patriots promoted rookie defensive tackle Woodrow Hamilton from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.