With the NFL trade deadline looming right around the corner, there is a lot of speculation surrounding the Philadelphia Eagles and if they will make a move.
Could it be for a running back? Or what about another position of need such as wide receiver? If the Eagles do decide to upgrade the wide receiver spot, there is one player who should definitely be on their radar.
According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, the Oakland Raiders are shopping wide receiver Amari Cooper. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported on Monday that the Raiders are seeking a first-round pick in exchange for him.
Cooper was drafted in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft and had a ridiculous rookie season. The 6-foot-1 wideout burst onto the scene with 72 receptions (130 targets) for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns.
It appeared at the time that the Raiders had finally drafted a wide receiver that was not a bust.
Cooper then followed up his rookie year campaign with an impressive second season in Oakland. He had a career-high 83 receptions (132) for 1,153 yards and five touchdowns. However, since those first two impressive years, the former University of Alabama standout has been a shell of himself over the last two seasons.
Despite having a career-high in touchdown receptions (7) last season; Cooper was mostly a non-factor in Oakland’s passing game, compiling 48 receptions (96 targets) for 680 yards.
Unlike his first two seasons where he had numerous 100-yard receiving games, Cooper only had one game where had over 100 yards (Wk. 17 versus the Los Angeles Chargers, 115 yards) and one game where posted over 200 yards (Wk. 7 against Kansas City, 210 yards).
This season, Cooper only has 22 receptions (31 targets) for 280 yards and a touchdown. Not to mention, Oakland is struggling this season with an alarming record of 1-5.
It is also telling that the Raiders have not extended Cooper yet, who is in the final year of his rookie deal. Even though the reported price tag is high, the Eagles should consider picking up the phone only if they can talk the Raiders down from their price.
As we all know, Philly’s wide receiver unit has dealt with injuries to both Mike Wallace and Mack Hollins.
Wallace, who was supposed to be the team’s vertical threat, suffered a broken fibula in Week 2 and Hollins was expected to a considerable role in the offense. With those two the shelf, the Eagles decided to turn to an old friend in Jordan Matthews.
Since making his return to Philly, Matthews has done a solid job with 107yards and a touchdown. He is not a vertical threat like Wallace or Hollins but he gives Wentz a reliable option in the receiving game.
But Cooper would be a hell of an upgrade over Matthews and force opposing defenses to a tough decision on who to give double coverage too. Do you put a safety over the top for Alshon Jeffery or Cooper?
We’ve seen how effective Jeffery has been in this offense and he does not possess top-notch speed, so there is some hope for Cooper. The former Crimson Tide wide receiver would have a quarterback in Carson Wentz that can get the ball to him and would not be the first option like he is in Oakland.
Instead with the Eagles, Cooper would be the third or fourth receiving option depending on the offensive formation. But what about the money aspect?
Last week, Philly freed up $6.5 million in cap space, giving them about $10 million to play with at the trade deadline. If they were to take on Cooper, he is only making $4.5 million this season, which is not a problem.
However, the bigger issue is that he has a cap hit of $13 million next season. Eagles GM Howie Roseman, who is a cap space genius would definitely find a way to extend Cooper sometime this season, allowing the team to do whatever moves they had to in the offseason.