New deal 'not a big deal' for Cowboys' Amari Cooper

Print
  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
More Columns >

With running back Ezekiel Elliott in parts unknown holding out for a new contract, receiver Amari Cooper's presence at Cowboys training camp in California might come as a bit of surprise to some.

Front and center, Cooper is in camp where he believes he needs to be to get done what he wants to accomplish in 2019 and offered no qualms as it relates to his contract and a hopeful extension.

"I just want to be here. I really haven't been thinking about my contract situation," Cooper said via DallasCowboys.com's Nick Eatman. "I don't know why, but I want to be here running routes, catching balls from Dak [Prescott]. I think it's necessary because I think it's going to help me achieve what I want to achieve this season."

Perhaps the reason why lies simply in the prospects of a full season with the Dallas Cowboys.

Following a trade with the Oakland Raiders that sent him south to the eventual NFC East champions, Cooper rejuvenated the Prescott-quarterbacked offense.

In nary seven games, Cooper produced 725 yards receiving and six touchdowns on 53 catches. He looked every bit the No. 4 pick the Raiders used to procure him in 2015.

"I really think the media thinks about it more than I think about it," he said. "I just think it's going to come naturally. Whether it happens in the offseason or not, it's really not a big deal to me."

While it's an arduous prospect to think getting a big deal isn't a big deal for the talented 25-year-old wideout, he also explained his predicament isn't one in the same with Elliott's or Chargers running back Melvin Gordon, who is also a holdout.

Heading into the fifth and final season of his rookie contract, Cooper is due a base salary of $13.9 million and he also plays a different position than the aforementioned Zeke and Gordon.

"Different strokes for different folks," Cooper said. "Their situations are different than mine. I have a fifth-year option coming up to where I get paid a significant amount of money if I play on that. But the running back position, you know Melvin is one of my good friends, and he tells me the contract he would play on this year isn't even ... it's nothing. It's peanuts to an elephant. Everybody's situation is different."

So it goes that Cooper is building his chemistry within the Cowboys and building on an abbreviated 2018 season in Dallas with a full offseason.

"I'm just optimistic about it. It's something that's going to happen," Cooper said of getting a fresh contract. "Whether it happens today, tomorrow or whatever. I'm not worried about me getting hurt or anything and it not happening. I just don't think like that."

Print