Jaguars must aggressively pursue WR Amari Cooper in free agency
The Jacksonville Jaguars need to add a playmaker to their wide receiver corps this offseason and there will be several enticing options in free agency. It seems like another will be joining them soon, as the Dallas Cowboys will likely release Amari Cooper by the start of the 2022 league year, per Adam Schefter of ESPN. The new league year beings on March 16, so based on Schefter’s wording, the Boys should move on from the four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver within the next few days.
This year’s wide receiver class will be a curious one. Allen Robinson and Mike Williams should be in high demand but Chris Godwin and Michael Gallup would have been the top two options in the open market if they hadn’t suffered injuries late in the 2021 season. Neither of them may be ready for Week 1 but teams that are willing to wait for them to contribute could take an interest in them.
If Cooper is indeed released, he would automatically become one of the top two options in free agency and would have no shortage of suitors. The Jaguars will have around $56 million in cap space, so they should have no trouble matching or outbidding other clubs’ offers for the Alabama product.
Signing Amari Cooper would be a massive coup for the Jaguars.
A first-round selection by the Las Vegas Raiders, Cooper has had five 1,000-yard seasons over the last seven years and he would automatically become the number one wide receiver in a Jaguars’ offense that is in dire need of weapons. Moreover, they won’t have to give away any kind of compensation in exchange for his services.
The biggest criticism when it comes to Coop is that he disappears at times but it’s unrealistic to expect him to have 100 receiving yards in every single game. Cowboys executive vice president of football operations Stephen Jones isn’t particularly pleased with Cooper’s 2021 performance, believing his $20 million salary wasn’t proportional to his on-field production.
"But if you’re going to pay somebody a lot of money, you want them to be the best at what they do … with that comes high expectations."
But in spite of Big D’s surplus of offensive weapons last season — Gallup, Cedrick Wilson, CeeDee Lamb, and Dalton Schultz — Cooper still hauled in a respectable 68 receptions for 865 yards and eight touchdowns. Back when the Cowboys traded for Cooper, he immediately gave their offense a boost, so it made sense for them to give him a five-year $100 million contract. However, they’ve acquired other receivers since then, so keeping him (especially at his current rate) is no longer feasible.
The Jaguars need to get Trevor Lawrence as many weapons as possible and Cooper will be one of the best ones in free agency. Maybe he can do in Jacksonville what he did in his first year in Dallas. There’s only one way to find out.