Raiders

NFL rumors: Ex-Raider Amari Cooper has 'shockingly high' contract demands

NFL rumors: Ex-Raider Amari Cooper has 'shockingly high' contract demands

Amari Cooper fit the logo on his helmet after being traded from the Raiders to the Cowboys last season. The wide receiver simply turned into a star in Dallas. 

The 2015 first-round draft pick hauled in 53 receptions for 725 yards and six touchdowns in nine games with the Cowboys. He even added 13 receptions and a touchdown in two playoff games. Through six games as a Raider in 2018, he was a completely different player. 

Cooper only had 22 receptions for 280 yards and one touchdown for the Silver and Black last year. Sometimes a change of scenery is all a player needs, but a hefty bank account helps, too. 

To remain with the Cowboys when he becomes a free agent after the 2019 season, Cooper's contract demands have been "deemed shockingly high," Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram reported on Tuesday. Hill also states the Cowboys recognize the floor of Cooper's contract should be at least $16 million per season. 

This begs the question, would you rather pay Amari Cooper the big bucks or shell out for new Raiders receiver Antonio Brown? 

The Raiders acquired Brown from the Steelers in March for a 2019 third-round draft pick and a 2019 fifth-round pick. They also immediately gave Brown, who turns 31 in July, a new three-year contract worth more than $50 million.

While he's now in his 30s, there's a strong argument that Brown has been the best wide receiver in football for the past six seasons. Since 2013, he has 686 receptions for 9,145 yards and 67 touchdowns. Brown's also made six straight Pro Bowls and was named a first-team All-Pro four times in the last six years.

Cooper, six years younger than Brown, has been highly inconsistent throughout his career. He's shown his star power with both the Raiders and Cowboys now, but is yet to establish himself as a top pass-catcher in the league. But with his age and natural talent, that could happen sooner rather than later. 

[RELATED: Brown, Carr building rapport in Raiders' offseason program]

The Raiders turned Cooper into the No. 27 pick in this year's draft, which they used on safety Johnathan Abram. They also completely overhauled their receiving corps with Brown and Tyrell Williams, among others.

Negotiations between Cooper and the Cowboys will be worth watching for Raiders fans, especially if Brown and quarterback Derek Carr find an instant connection this season.

Raiders Daniel Carlson wants to build on Raiders success, not replicate it

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USATSI

Raiders Daniel Carlson wants to build on Raiders success, not replicate it

The Minnesota Vikings took the first kicker in last year’s NFL draft, but that didn’t stop them from cutting Daniel Carlson at the first sign of trouble. The Auburn alum was off the roster following a rough go against Green Bay, suddenly on the street despite great power, accuracy and pedigree.

That transaction raised Rich Bisaccia’s eyebrow. The Raiders special teams coach considered a top talent, someone who could solve his in-season kicker issues with Giorgio Tavecchio cut in camp and Eddy Piñeiro and Mike Nugent on injured reserve. Bisaccia had an in with Carlson after helping recruit him to Auburn. That, the Raiders thought, would separate them from the competition when bringing him in for a workout.

Carlson still said no.

This wasn’t about the Raiders. He declined offers from everybody, as a matter of fact, choosing to work out kinks away from massive crowds and quick-to-judge head coaches with nothing invested in him.

“My agent and I obviously talked about it a good bit,” Carlson said. “We just felt like at that time I could take a break, work on some things that I wanted to work on. Once you get into the season, you’re just getting ready for Sunday. You’re getting ready for Sunday, so it was nice to be able to step back, be able to work on a couple little things and then be able to… I knew an opportunity would come. Obviously, I didn’t know where from, but I just wanted to make sure when that came I was ready and would be ready for the rest of the season.”

He made some tweaks and was eventually able to double back to the Raiders when he was ready. Patience proved a virtue for player and team.

Carlson was awesome after joining the Raiders, with a franchise-record 94.1-percent conversion rate. He hit 16 of 17 field goals in silver and black, including a game-winner as time expired on one of their four wins.

Carlson wants to match that effort in 2019 and for years to come as the Raiders kicker. He won’t compete for a gig this season but is still pushing for improvement and consistency through near-constant self-evaluation even now, when sailing on the calm.

“I think he’s working on getting a master’s in himself,” Bisaccia said. “I think he knows faster than anybody else what’s good about what he does and when it’s not the hit that he’s expecting to make. I think he can self-correct quickly and just our professional opinions we thought he was really a good player coming out. He was certainly a draft-able kicker and then when he became available we couldn’t get him for the first workout, he wanted to go work on a few things on his own and when he was ready for a workout we got him in. He did a tremendous job and now he’s ours.”

Carlson doesn’t subscribe to the ain’t-broke-down-fix-it model. He wants to build on last season’s success over simply replicating it. That more than anything else remains his drive heading toward the 2019 season.

“I wouldn’t say you ever maintain,” Carlson said. “I think you’re always getting worse or better. I think yes, I learned some things that worked last year and I want to keep those things going. But at the same time, I always want to improve. I’ve been working really hard this offseason. Obviously, I took a little break after the season ended and kind of got back to it. I want to continue to build off of what I had last year and the things that were going well. Still continuing to improve every day. I think for the most part I’ve been able to do that.”

Carlson’s able to get nit-picky these days, even looking at attempts that earned three points. He grades each one, and despite the pass-fail nature of his profession, he doesn’t view it as a zero-sum game. He also understands every kick won’t be perfect but needs even the subpar efforts to fly straight and true.

[RELATED: Simms ranked as Chris Simms' No. 18 overall QB]

Carlson is always working on an ironclad mental approach and consistent form that can be more challenging for someone standing 6-foot-5.

“Being taller you have to be very, very exact,” Carlson said. “Continuing to be able to do that nine out of 10 times, but now hopefully I’m going to be able to do it 99 out of 100 times. Just trying to get better each and every day.”

Watch Antonio Brown mic'd up at Raiders mandatory minicamp practice

Watch Antonio Brown mic'd up at Raiders mandatory minicamp practice

"Let's put a show on today."

Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown was chatting with quarterback Derek Carr during a recent mandatory minicamp and we were able to hear it all during an installment of "Mic'd Up."

The two went out on to the practice field and it was apparent Brown hasn't slowed down since being acquired by the Silver and Black.

He makes it look effortless as he grabs everything within reach all while receiving compliments from his quarterback.

As the team stood around on the sidelines, coach Jon Gruden added to the nice words saying AB was "killing it." And Brown responded in the most Brown-like way by saying he's going to kill it every day for Gruden.

[RELATED: AB sets a new standard during Raiders offseason]

AB has been truly dominating in his role being called the hardest worker Gruden has ever seen. The receiver came into his new digs fully prepared, and is not afraid to shy away on giving the team feedback while receiving advice from others as well.

This season will be an interesting one.