FRISCO, Texas (TNS) — The Dallas Cowboys have made no progress in contract talks with receiver Amari Cooper and his representatives Joel Segal and Chafie Fields, according to sources.
The team acquired Cooper in a trade from the Oakland Raiders last year with plans of signing him to a contract extension.
He has one year left on the rookie contract he signed with the Raiders and will make $13.9 million next season.
Cooper proved his value to the Cowboys in 2019, catching 53 passes for 725 yards and six touchdowns in nine games.
He is expected to be even better in 2019 with a full offseason with quarterback Dak Prescott.
The Cowboys are sold on Cooper and have prioritized signing him to a long-term extension before the season. They seem to fully understand that he'll get a deal of at least $16 million annually.
So what's the holdup?
It takes two to tango, as they say.
As of now, Cooper and representatives appear to be waiting for the market to jump again.
The NFL's top paid receivers by average annual salary are:
Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr.: $18 million
Raiders WR Antonio Brown: $17 million
Buccaneers WR Mike Evans: $16.5 million
Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins: $16.2 million
Vikings WR Adam Thielen: $16.2 million
Rams WR Brandin Cooks: $16.2 million
A new deal is expected soon for Falcons receiver Julio Jones that could push him over Beckham.
And Michael Thomas of the Saints could actually be the first receiver to reach $20 million in the next year or so.
So while $16 million sounds nice, it's smart for Cooper to want a deal that reflects the current market as well as coming changes in the market.
Segal is well respected in the industry and is known as a shrewd negotiator.
He is responsible for the standard-setting, blockbuster deal that defensive end Khalil Mack got from the Bears last season. The six-year, $141 million extension contained $90 million in guarantees, which was the fourth most guarantees ever in a contract. Mack's $60 million fully guaranteed at signing established a new record for non-quarterbacks as well as one for average yearly salary at $23.5 million.