Just two days after the question was posed to Reggie McKenzie about whether or not the Raiders would pick up the 5th year option on Amari Cooper’s rookie contract, it is being reported that they will. This according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
I'm told the #Raiders are expected to pick up the 5th-year option for WR Amari Cooper imminently, per source.— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) April 22, 2018
McKenzie on Friday said only that the two sides had been in contact and that they were fond of their 2-time Pro Bowl receiver.
“With Amari, we’re going to let this thing go into… Going into the draft now, that’s what we’re focused on, but we’ve been in contact with his agent,” said McKenzie. “I don’t want to put anything out there before… I don’t want to put the cart before the horse, so to speak. But we like Amari.”
Coop’s numbers dropped significantly last season, from over 1000 yards his first two seasons in 2015-16, to just 680 yards in 2017. Much of that was a product of an overall lackluster offense as well as nagging injuries.
He had a career game in week 7 against the Chiefs, catching 11 passes for 210 yards, but coming into the game, he had just 18 catches for 146 yards and one touchdown on the season. He would break 100 yards just once more, in the team’s season finale in Los Angeles against the Chargers.
The fourth year receiver still must prove that he can stay healthy and not fade down the stretch. Early in his first two seasons, he was one of the best receivers in football. If he can do it next season, the Raiders will be glad they held onto the former 4th overall pick for anther season on his rookie deal.
Update: The Raiders have made this move official.