On a Tuesday conference call with reporters, Ron Rivera confirmed what had been previously reported: The Redskins wanted Amari Cooper. 

In fact, the Redskins wanted Amari Cooper really, really badly.

"Amari is someone we chased, and we chased very hard all the way up to the very end when he decided to return to Dallas," Rivera said. "We were in it. We were talking about a substantial amount of money."

Rivera is serious, too, when he uses the word "substantial." Cooper ended up signing a five-year, $100 million contract to stay with the Cowboys, and Washington apparently offered him more than that.

Overall, some have questioned how Rivera and the Redskins approached free agency in his first season as coach, wondering why the organization ended up bringing in so many cheaper, less-established players despite a 3-13 record in 2019. His comments, though, indicate that wasn't necessarily their initial strategy.

They had a Plan A, and it stood for Plan Amari.


"That's a tough one," Rivera added. "We would've loved to have him, have him as a part of what we're trying to do. We believe he'd have been a great veteran presence in the room, especially for those young guys, the young guys who played last year and had success for this football team. So, you'd have felt good about having a veteran guy like that who's had success in this league as part of what you're trying to do."


Cooper would've added a ton of explosion to what was the NFL's worst offense in 2019, and the idea of pairing him up with Terry McLaurin no doubt fueled Rivera's desire to pursue him. Plus, Cooper's arrival would've meant a departure from the Cowboys, weakening the Burgundy and Gold's longtime rival.

Unfortunately, none of that came to fruition, and now Rivera and the Redskins will be forced to see the wideout twice a season. Hopefully, the 58-year-old will be able to build the franchise up soon and get them to a place where they're the ones winning battles for prized stars again. It just didn't happen this time around. 

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