The New England Patriots appear to have struck gold with Mac Jones as their next franchise quarterback, but his skills will not improve unless they get some quality perimeter talent around him. What a coincidence! The Dallas Cowboys might drop a gift right in their laps in the form of Amari Cooper.
Cooper is likely going to be released alongside Demarcus Lawrence, as Dallas is up against the salary cap to the point where they need to part with arguably their best receiver and defensive lineman. As for Cooper, the former first-round pick will offer a much higher ceiling than Jakobi Meyers or Kendrick Bourne over the next few years.
The Patriots may have to make some tough decisions of their own to get just a bit more financial flexibility (which all started with the release of Kyle Van Noy). If there’s even a 5% chance they have the funds to generate a backloaded contract that entices Cooper to come to New England, they need to roll the dice.
ESPN analyst Louis Riddick has already hyped up the Patriots as a “perfect” destination for Cooper, saying that their coaching structure has helped some inconsistent players turn the corner and become more reliable. Already a masterful route-runner and big play threat, Cooper makes so much sense for this emerging offense.
Will the New England Patriots sign Amari Cooper?
During his time with Oakland and Dallas, Cooper made four Pro Bowls in five years and topped 1,000 yards receiving five times. Despite the emergence of CeeDee Lamb, Cooper put up 865 yards and eight touchdowns on 65 catches last season. In New England, he’d instantly be the No. 1 receiver.
The Patriots don’t have the most flexible cap situation in the world, but they could still bring him in on a backloaded contract that gives them wiggle room early in the deal. Still just 27 years old, giving Cooper a lot of money as he inches closer to 30 isn’t an absurd decision given how productive he has been.
With so many potential suitors, New England needs to be proactive in chasing him or else they’ll lose out quickly.
Cooper was challenging for 1,000 yards every season in an offense that reduced his touches in favor of getting Lamb and Ezekiel Elliott their weekly diet of attention. Even when the Cowboys were forced to start what’s left of Andy Dalton, Cooper was very productive.
With years of experience as a lethal downfield threat and the route-running skills to consistently separate over the middle, Cooper seems like a receiver that was born to operate in a Belichick offense. A pass-catching group led by Cooper, Bourne, and Hunter Henry would be a ton for defenses to contend with, so this is a move Belichick needs to greatly consider.