Fact check: True.
New Redskins coach Ron Rivera recently let it slip the club indeed “chased [Cooper] hard all the way until the end,” until the Pro Bowl pass-catcher chose to stay put in Dallas.
“We would’ve love to have him apart of what we’re trying to do here,” Rivera said, via Pro Football Talk. “He would’ve been a great veteran presence.”
Multiple reports indicated after he put pen to paper that Cooper rejected “significantly” more money from the NFC East foe, who submitted a proposal “in the $22 million-per-year range” that would have “put him right there with Julio [Jones]” as the NFL’s highest-paid receiver.
Instead, Cooper accepted the Cowboys’ offer: $100 million across five years, with $60 million guaranteed. At an average annual value of $20 million, he became the league’s second-richest WR behind Jones.
Rivera used a different word to characterize Washington’s contractual overture — “substantial” — but confirmed the aforementioned reports just the same.
“We were in it, talking about a substantial amount of money,” he said, via Pro Football Talk. “At the end of the day, he made a decision, and we have to respect it. He would have made a great addition.”
The long-term extension will carry Cooper through his age-30 season, meaning he’ll get another bite at the proverbial apple. Soft-spoken and rarely generating headlines, Cooper broke character by repeatedly declaring his interest in remaining a “Cowboy for life,” which should have tipped off Rivera and his surrounding brain trust.
Across 25 games with the silver and blue, following his October 2018 arrival from the Raiders, Cooper has recorded 132 receptions for 1,914 yards (14.5 yards per catch) and 14 touchdowns. He led the team last season with 1,189 yards and eight scores on 79 grabs, making all 16 starts despite battling multiple lower-leg and foot injuries.
Failing to corral Cooper, the Redskins instead settled for ex-Broncos bust Cody Latimer, who spent the last two years with the New York Giants.
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