Jonathan Cooper Released by Patriots: Latest Details, Comments, Reaction

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2016

This is a 2016 photo of Jonathan Cooper of the New England Patriots NFL football team. This image reflects the New England Patriots active roster as of Wednesday, May 25, 2016 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)
Uncredited/Associated Press

The New England Patriots released right guard Jonathan Cooper on Saturday after the team acquired him and a second-round pick in a March trade that sent edge-rusher Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals, according to ESPN's Field Yates. 

Cooper was carted off the field at a training-camp practice in July with a right foot injury and had yet to appear in a game with the Patriots. 

ESPN.com's Mike Reiss noted Cooper's foot injury changed the lineman's standing with the Patriots: 

Cooper, who was selected with the seventh pick in the 2013 draft, was once thought to be a potential anchor along the Cardinals offensive line.

However, that changed when he suffered a broken leg during the third preseason game of his rookie year. Cooper proceeded to miss the entire 2013 campaign, and injuries dogged him in 2014 and 2015, as he appeared in 24 of a possible 32 games during that stretch.

According to ESPN.com news services, Cooper "struggled to overcome the mental hurdles" that accompanied his recovery from the broken leg. 

Per Spotrac, Cooper was slated to become an unrestricted free agent in the spring of 2017 prior to his release. He'll need to prove to another club that he can evolve into a consistent part of a protection scheme if he hopes to find a gig before this season comes to a close. 

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