This is going to be a busy offseason for the Jacksonville Jaguars. They’re off to a good start after making Doug Pederson their new head coach. However, there’s plenty of work left and once Pederson is finishing building his staff, he and general manager Trent Baalke will need to focus on fortifying the roster. Upgrading the wide receiver corps should be one of the team’s brass top priorities and they would fill a need by landing Amari Cooper.
A first-round pick by the Las Vegas Raiders in 2015, Cooper is currently on the Dallas Cowboys roster, and while it looked like they would have needed to trade for him to acquire, the Jaguars might not need to part ways with any compensation after all. Bobby Belt of 105.3 The Fan expects Cooper to be a cap casualty this offseason. If the wide receiver does become a free agent, he would instantly become one of the most coveted players in the open market.
The Raiders traded Cooper for a first-round selection in the middle of the 2018 season. He quickly became a key cog in Dallas’ offense, catching 53 receptions for 725 yards and six trips to the end zone in nine outings. Over his seven-year career, the Alabama product has made four Pro Bowls and has hauled in 517 receptions for 7,076 yards with 46 touchdowns.
WR Amari Cooper would give the Jaguars’ offense a boost.
This isn’t going to be a particularly strong free-agent class of wide receivers. However, there should be a few options that may be of the Jaguars’ interest. Odell Beckham Jr. should be at the top of their wish list and as unlikely as a reunion with Allen Robinson might be, it shouldn’t be off the table. If Cooper is available, he should also be a target. After all, he’s had success both as a member of the Silver and Black and the Boys. Dallas wouldn’t cut him because he is no longer good. Instead, they need to trim their cap, and moving on from the receiver would help them achieve that end.
Cooper set to account for $22 million in cap space. Releasing him would create a dead cap hit of $6 million but also would free up $16 million. The positives of cutting ties with him seem to outweigh the negatives, especially when you take into account that Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones doesn’t think the wide receiver’s performance on the football field hasn’t been proportional to his salary.
Another option for the Jags is to use their second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft on a wide receiver but given all the holes they need to fill, they may be better off getting a proven commodity on the open market and Cooper might be one of the best if he’s available.
The Jaguars are in the process of putting together a good coaching staff but they also need to acquire difference-makers this offseason if they want to win more games in 2022 than they did last year. Cooper is one of several players that could help them.