Riley Cooper is yet to catch a single pass this preseason. It seems as if Riley Cooper will not be a starting Wide Receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles. In the off season the Eagles used their first round pick on a Wide Receiver, Nelson Agholor, picked up two veteran Receivers Miles Austin and Seyi Ajirotutu, and have fallen in love with Josh Huff and Jordan Matthews. A few days ago the Buffalo Bills dropped Fred Jackson, because they just didn’t need him. Is it possible that the Eagles just don’t need Riley Cooper?
Some Eagles fans and writers swear by Riley Cooper’s talent, but when you look at his stats his 2013 season when he “broke out” and had 835 receiving yards stands alone as his only season of real production and looks more and more like a fluke. This preseason 19 players have caught the football, including former Quarterback G.J. Kinne who has already been cut from the roster and Rasheed Bailey who has 8 receptions and will still likely be cut, yet Riley Cooper is yet to catch one ball. Along with Riley Cooper’s 0 receptions he only has had one target in this preseason.
So what does this mean for Cooper? Either Chip Kelly believes that Riley Cooper is too good to play extensively in the preseason for fear of injury, or Riley Cooper is not one of the top five receivers on the team, but is being paid like a starter which may result in him being cut. Riley Cooper was needed on the Eagles of old, Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin were not effective blockers in the run game so the logic behind keeping, playing, and paying Riley Cooper was for his size and blocking ability. Nelson Agholor is a reliable run blocker for a WR, and Jordan Matthews is just as big as Riley Cooper and more talented. Chip Kelly has received criticism being called “racist” and that he doesn’t mesh well with fully formed men, because of his roster moves since arriving in Philadelphia (which is preposterous). Dropping the one player who has had a problem with race relations (Riley Cooper) could quiet the media and benefit Chip Kelly.
The Eagles have been advertising Riley Cooper as if he is a starter in the NFL, realistically he isn’t a starter on this Eagles team and I don’t think he could start anywhere in the NFL except Cleveland or Tennessee. It’s time that Riley Cooper stops dropping footballs in Philadelphia, and time for Philadelphia football to drop Riley Cooper.