Is it possible the Raiders won’t want to re-sign Amari Cooper in a few years?

After the Oakland Raiders gave big contracts to Gabe Jackson and Derek Carr, many began looking to the future and wondering whether or not the Silver and Black will be able to retain their other big name players. Guys like Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper immediately come to mind when thinking about big pay days on the horizon for the Raiders.

But while Khalil Mack is a given, can we really say that Amari Cooper will for sure be re-signed by the Raiders?

When discussing how the Raiders will deal with impending cap decisions, many hold the belief that the Raiders won’t be able to afford to retain all of the stars they’ve drafted in recent years. I’ve maintained that through good cap practices (like the ones Reggie McKenzie has) the Raiders will, in fact, be able to hang on to any of the stars they want to hang on to.

And that’s the key. We are all assuming that when the time comes, the Raiders will be intent on re-signing Cooper. But what if they aren’t?

I don’t think there’s any question that the Raiders will take the fifth year option on Cooper’s contract, keeping him with the Silver and Black through the 2019 season. That’s an easy decision as Cooper has done enough to be worth the extra year. It also gives the Raiders another year to watch Cooper’s progression while also pushing the need to re-sign him to a year after they will need to re-sign Khalil Mack.

The question is, when the 2019 season comes to an end, are the Raiders going to be willing to make Amari Cooper one of the highest paid wide receivers in the game?

If you ask me, Cooper has not yer earned such a pay day. He’s shown flashes of being one of the best but the lack of consistency is a big deal. But the thing is, even if he doesn’t become more consistent between now and 2019, he will still command a VERY high salary on the free agent market. Because of that, he’s likely to seek a very substantial contract from the Raiders. Not as much as he’d get in free agency but it’s going to be at a number high enough that the Raiders will really have to think about it.

After sinking a substantial amount of their salary cap into Derek Carr, Gabe Jackson and Khalil Mack, would it make sense to sign another massive contract when they guy has only shown spurts of greatness? Make no mistake, Cooper has the skill set to be one of the best ever but if he can’t get the most out of that skill set then it doesn’t really matter because potential is only that, potential.

Cooper has two more years under contract and will likely have a third after the team option is exercised. That’s plenty of time to get rid of the late season demons that have haunted Cooper in his first two years. And if Cooper can kick those demons, re-signing him will be a no brainer.

BUT, if he continues to play with the inconsistency we’ve seen in his first two seasons, the Raiders will really have to think about whether or not he’s a guy worthy of a massive contract given the state of the team.

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