Should the Philadelphia Eagles Re-Sign Riley Cooper After 2013?

Bryn Swartz@eaglescentralSenior Writer IIINovember 9, 2013

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 03:  Wide receiver Riley Cooper #14 of the Philadelphia Eagles pulls in a touchdown catch against the Oakland Raiders in the second quarter on November 3, 2013 at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Perhaps no player in the National Football League has had more of a rollercoaster ride over the last few months than Riley Cooper.

The fourth-year Eagles wide receiver put himself in the national headlines with the unfortunate use of a racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert during the summer. Despite speculation that Cooper would be released by the Eagles, possibly ending his NFL career, he remained on the team's roster.

Give credit to head coach Chip Kelly for sticking with Cooper even when a number of his teammates expressed their disgust toward him. Give Kelly even more credit for sticking with Cooper when he caught just eight passes for 93 yards during the season's first five games, numbers that ranked him among the worst starting wide receivers in the league.

It's all good now though. Over the last four games, Cooper has been one of the most productive receivers in the NFL. He's caught 17 passes for 360 yards and four touchdowns.

Factor in just his three games with Nick Foles at quarterback and he's grabbed 15 passes (in 18 attempts) for 347 yards and four scores. If you extrapolate those numbers over a full season, they'd look like this: 80 catches, 1851 yards and 21 touchdowns. Obviously he wouldn't come close to those numbers (no one ever has) but if he had Foles throwing to him for a full season, he could probably catch 50 passes for 800 yards and eight scores.

Consider his success as a blocker and his physical presence in the red zone and it absolutely makes sense to sign him to another deal when he hits free agency this offseason.

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If Foles is going to be the quarterback in 2014, bringing back Riley Cooper is a no-brainer. The two clearly have tremendous chemistry on the football field.


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