Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images
As we have passed the draft and continue on through rookie mini camps, teams are formulating their 90-man roster for training camp. Training camp kicks off during mid July, and there are two polarizing wide receivers that are looking for new contracts before the season starts up. The Falcons’ Julio Jones and the Cowboys’ Amari Cooper are both seeking long-term contracts from their respected teams.
Both guys are highly regarded across the league from what they provide their offense. Jones and Cooper both came out of the university of Alabama where they both were selected in the first-round after entering the draft.
Jones is highly viewed across the league as one of the most prolific pass catchers in the NFL. Jones can really do it all, as he has top end speed, elite strength, a lengthy frame, and he’s a superior route runner. These traits have really made Jones into what he is, and that just happens to be one of the most unguardable wide receivers in the league.
Heading into the 2019 season, Jones still has two seasons remaining on his current contract. Despite Jones being under contract, he has outperformed what he’s getting paid. His current deal was front loaded with a chunk of the money in year one and two, as the back end of his deal gets a little thin for his performance. In 2019 he’s slated to make $9.6 million, unless Jones and the Atlanta Falcons can come to an agreement on a new deal.
Heading into his age 30 season, the Falcons may look to proceed with caution. Although Jones is one of the more accomplished wide outs in the league, he’s also approaching the wrong side of 30. I’d assume the two sides eventually come to an agreement during training camp to make Jones a Falcon for a couple more years in order to take advantage of the prime of his career.
The Falcons fell short of the playoffs last season, but not they got massive production from Jones. He caught 113 balls for a league high 1,677-yards and 8 touchdowns. Julio may be getting older, but I don’t see him slowing down at least for the 2019 season.
Cooper is heading into the 2019 season playing on the final year of his contract. He started out the 2018 season fairly slow in Oakland, but once he appeared in Dallas after being dealt to the Cowboys, he looked like one of the more dynamic pass catchers in the NFL.
Even with Cooper seeking a new contract in Dallas, he’ll more than likely wait for Julio Jones to ink his new deal, which will then raise the bar for the wide receiver market. Cooper is coming off the fifth-year option of his rookie deal, so if a deal doesn’t get done before this season starts, the clock will start ticking on Cooper becoming a free-agent. He’ll make $13.9 million this season on the fifth-year option, as he looks ahead of his future by trying to collect a long-term contract.
Cooper has a lot on his side, as he finished last season extraordinary strong. In his nine games with the Cowboys, he hauled in 53 catches with 725-yards and 6 touchdowns. He really sparked the Dallas roster when he came into the building, which helped Dak Prescott and the offense flip the switch and make a run into the playoffs.
Cooper has been a streaky player throughout his young career, but during his time in Dallas he’s been marvelous. After the Cowboys sent the Raiders their 2019 first-round pick for Cooper, I’d imagine they lock up the talented wide receiver for him to become the focal point of the Dallas offense for years to come.
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