In the weeks that have followed the Dallas Cowboys‘ decision to ink Amari Cooper to a lucrative five-year, $100 million contract, there have been plenty of reactions around the league. It’s a long-term deal that keeps in Dallas for several more years but comes at a stiff price that makes him one of the highest-paid wide receivers. With that territory comes plenty of comparisons to the top talent in the league getting that type of money in a deal. ESPN’s Booger McFarland has now chimed in on the matter voicing that he believes general managers across the NFL would take Antonio Brown over Cooper.
Cowboys sign Amari Cooper to five-year, $100 million deal
Before the 2019 season, Cooper made the decision to table his contract talks with the Cowboys until the offseason.
Throughout that process, he continued to make it clear that he wanted to remain with Dallas for the long haul, but there were never any parameters in what type of deal he would hash out with the team. The dialogue between both sides didn’t start to hit up until last month that saw things become a bit interesting after the Cowboys place the franchise tag on Dak Prescott in the days leading to free agency.
It put the possibility that Cooper could leave the team in free agency, which did open the door for the Washington Redskins to make a significant offer to the star wideout. However, Dallas stepped up financially to keep the Pro Bowler my inking him a five-year, $100 million that gives him a $20 million annual salary, which is only second to that of Julio Jones’ $21 million.
Booger McFarland thinks GMs would prefer Antonio Brown over Amari Cooper
However, it hasn’t been an entirely positive reaction around Cooper’s new deal with the Cowboys. That has seen one NFL executive voice to Mike Sando of the Atheltic that they believe the Pro Bowler is overpaid and isn’t a “difference-maker” on the field.
That didn’t take long for those comments to garner a strong response as ESPN’s Booger McFarland took that a step further. McFarland declared earlier this week on ESPN’s First Take that he believes general managers around the league would prefer Antonio Brown over Cooper in terms of their ability on the field.
“I guarantee you if you talked to a lot more GMs they would tell you ‘if we could get the player, not everything else that comes with it, Antonio Brown or the player Amari Cooper everybody would take Antonio Brown over Amari Cooper from a player standpoint.”
McFarland may be taking it solely from an on-field approach, where Brown has proven over his career to a decisive edge, but that is a situation that can’t be looked out through just that lense. Cooper hasn’t had any issues off the field flare-up that has pushed Brown out of the league entirely at this moment.
Cooper has proven to be a massive piece of the puzzle offensively for the Cowboys that has been a significant factor since joining the franchise. Yes, it’s a substantial financial commitment for Dallas to make, but he’s a significant factor in their future and offensive game plan.
Amari Cooper’s chance to prove it
That said, the argument that the anonymous NFL executive and McFarland are trying to hammer home is that Cooper hasn’t proven that he’s one of the best wide receivers in the league.
The 25-year-old has had his struggles at times throughout his career where he’s been a non-factor on the field, but it’s not a shot at his talent and ability as a polished route runner and big-play asset. Cooper has tallied four 1,000 receiving yard campaigns in his first five years. That saw him finish eighth with 1,189 receiving yards last year, but the issue that the detractors have is the games where he hasn’t been a factor in the passing game.
Ultimately, Cooper now has the chance to prove behind his performance that he’s worth his $100 million deal.