Cowboys News: Amari Cooper Says Free Agency Won't Be 'All About Money'

Blake SchusterContributor IIIJanuary 24, 2020

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 29: Amari Cooper #19 of the Dallas Cowboys makes a catch while being guarded by Jimmy Moreland #32 of the Washington Redskins in the second quarter in the game at AT&T Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

When Dallas Cowboys free-agent receiver Amari Cooper gets ready to sign his next contract, he won't only be fixated on the number of zeros attached to it. He's also looking for the right fit. 

"I don't think it's all about money," Cooper said Thursday, per NFL.com's Nick Shook. "If you're a highly touted free agent, you're going to get paid a lot of money no matter where you go. Is it worth it to go somewhere that you probably don't want to go as far as, you might be a guy like me who's from South Florida who's never played a game in the snow?

"Is it worth a million dollars more a year or $2 million more a year, especially if you're taking care of your money investment-wise, is it worth that two being in an environment that you don't want to be in? Or would you like to stay somewhere in the south? It's not all about money."

That's seemingly music to the ears of executives for Dallas—which plays in a dome and in the south.

Team vice president Stephen Jones called re-signing Cooper the team's No. 2 priority this offseason after figuring out a new deal for quarterback Dak Prescott, a fellow free agent in this year's class. 

Cooper and Prescott made for an elite threat last season. 

The quarterback finished with the second-most passing yards in the league (4,902) while Cooper ended the year as the eighth-best wideout with 1,189 yards and eight touchdowns. There's no question how important the duo was for the Cowboys offense in 2019.

As the team looks to rebound from a meager 8-8 season under new head coach Mike McCarthy next year, Prescott and Cooper can provide solid building blocks along with running back Ezekiel Elliott.

"His success is part of how good I'm doing and my success is part of how good he's doing," Cooper said. "So I definitely, if I had to test the market I'd definitely be evaluating quarterbacks and stuff like that to see if I want to play with them or not."

That would seem to make Cooper's comments on Thursday a clear message to the Cowboys: come get me. 

The 25-year-old just completed a four-year, $22.6 million deal and could cash in this offseason if he chooses. Spotrac projects Cooper is worth $19.7 million per year and could sign for five years and $98.5 million, putting him alongside the likes of Michael Thomas, Mike Evans and Julio Jones. 

Dallas has $77.9 million available in salary cap space next season. If Cooper has his way, he won't need much of that to stay put with the Cowboys. 

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