The hotly-debated adjective buzzing around The Star — “imminent” — also applies to Amari Cooper.
Like in Dak Prescott’s case, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones stated Tuesday that an extension for walk-year wide receiver Amari Cooper is, in his estimation, close to agreement.
“Well, yes, in that same sense,” Jones said during his weekly radio spot. “I know, we want to sign Cooper. Bottom line is imminent means near and certainly I know that the parameters are getting in better shape.”
Jones wouldn’t specify what “imminent” means for Cooper, who’s widely considered second-fiddle to the club’s franchise quarterback, its top priority. He did allow that talks are “more at hand” now than months or even weeks ago.
Dallas has three remaining candidates for long-term extensions: Prescott, Cooper and cornerback Byron Jones, all of whom are unsigned beyond this year. The club has held preliminary talks with each player, but hangups remain over year-by-year structure and pie-divvying.
Numerous reports claimed Prescott would land a new deal prior to Sunday’s regular season-opener, and while that never materialized, he was — by admission — further ahead of the race than Cooper, whose camp hadn’t regularly touched base with the Cowboys.
“There haven’t been a lot of negotiations with Amari (Cooper), period. And I’m not free to be able to share why,” Cowboys VP Stephen Jones said last week, per the Dallas Morning News. “I think at some point we’ll start that. I don’t know what their parameters will be.”
Cooper, who arrived via trade from Oakland in 2018, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next March. As it stands, he’s due $13.924 million in base salary for the 2019 campaign, his age-25 season.
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Amari to Surpass Julio?
After dominating the opener, shredding the New York Giants’ hapless secondary for 106 yards and a touchdown on six receptions, Cooper said he wasn’t sure where things stood between the sides. Nobody’s accusing him of feigning ignorance, but he has to be aware of Falcons star Julio Jones’ three-year, $66 million extension that includes $64 million in fully guaranteed money.
And he has to know that, or New Orleans’ Michael Thomas’ deal (five years, $96.25 million, $61 million guaranteed), is the baseline for his new pact with the Cowboys, who will be “open for business” throughout the season, in no rush to crack open their checkbook any sooner than necessary.
Cowboys ‘Fast Approaching’ Prescott Megadeal
It’s likely that Dallas is waiting to lock down Prescott before turning its attention to his top pass-catcher. There was some confusion regarding Jerry Jones’ use of the word “imminent” to characterize quick-churning negotiations between the team and the franchise signal-caller, which the colorfully-verbose Cowboys owner clarified Tuesday.
“It means ready to take place. Close. Near. About to happen. Those types of things. …I think we are fast approaching an agreement …That might be my opinion. It might not be Dak’s opinion,” Jones said during his weekly radio interview, via the Dallas Morning News.
Prescott reportedly is aiming to garner $40 million in annual salary, a would-be NFL record. And after a historically good Week 1, a true man-amongst-boys performance, the best of his young career, he just may get it.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL