Getting Cooper signed

Posted by Darren Urban on July 22, 2013 – 8:56 am

Training camp is a couple of days away. Rookies are going to show up to the Tempe complex tomorrow, there will be the run test at University of Phoenix Stadium Thursday — yes, even with the coaching change, the run test lives! — and the first practice of training camp Friday. At this point, the burning question is when unsigned first-round pick Jonathan Cooper will be a part of it.

As of right now, 15 of the 32 first-round picks have yet to agree to contracts, with every team set to start camp by the end of the week. The only unsigned guy picked higher than Cooper is No. 1 pick Eric Fisher. Again, because these deals are slotted, there is relatively little work involved. I know there has been a ton of talk about offset language and I do not know if that is something the Cardinals are considering asking for from Cooper. But I have never once gotten the sense there is any concern from the team a deal will be done on time, although there isn’t much being said right now.

“We continue to have ongoing conversations with his representatives but no deal is imminent at this time,” General Manager Steve Keim said Monday morning.

I had mentioned before I didn’t expect anything until this week anyway. Plus, in the big picture, I’ve seen too many situations where this — a No. 1 pick not signing quite on time for camp — meant very, very little. As I look back on my 14 years covering this team, I can only think of one lengthy holdout that ultimately had a impact. That was defensive tackle Wendell Bryant in 2002, when he didn’t sign until into September and was worthless to the Cards all season. Then again, given hindsight on Bryant, I’m not sure he would have been salvageable even if he would have been there Day One. Matt Leinart was a couple weeks late in 2006, but he was supposed to sit behind Kurt Warner all season anyway. And when Kurt struggled, it didn’t stop Denny Green from putting Leinart in early in the season and he actually played well right out of the box.

As for all the other guys who didn’t quite sign on time — Patrick Peterson, Levi Brown are two that come to mind — did you even remember they weren’t there that very first day?

Cooper got plenty of work in the offseason with the starting unit. He’s a smart guy and driven. This contract isn’t complicated, given the slotting system, nowhere near it was for say, Peterson in 2011 when he was the No. 5 overall pick. I still think Cooper is signed this week on time, but again, I’m not sure a day here or there matters. When he is in the starting lineup Sept. 8 against the Rams, no one is going to be thinking about the day he signed his first deal.


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15 Responses to “Getting Cooper signed”

  1. By Rugbymuffin on Jul 22, 2013 | Reply

    If there is not much involved, and it is not a big deal then why wait so long to get something done when not much is involved, and it is not a big deal ?

    Just good business to start the new regime out on the right foot, IMO.

  2. By tbru on Jul 22, 2013 | Reply

    I thought on based on the latest CBA, everyone was slotted and there wasn’t much negotiating for rookies anymore. It is a team game, the whole team should be on the field to open camp.

  3. By AzDesertRat1953 on Jul 22, 2013 | Reply

    Darren, by slotted do you mean it is set for a date or the week before camp starts for the 1st rounders to be signed? Also how long is the slot, a day, a week or what?

    Just wondering how it works now.

    GO CARDS!!!

  4. By Darren Urban on Jul 22, 2013 | Reply

    AzDesertRat —

    RE: Slotted

    It just means that the financial terms for each draft spot are basically known ahead of time. So the only thing you could haggle about are details like offset language (which has to do if a player is cut) or upfront money. It doesn’t have to do with time.

  5. By rod on Jul 22, 2013 | Reply

    For me it matters when he shows up because of the fact that the top 1 or 2 issues for this team have arguably been the o-line.

    You’d think since it’s simple they would rather get this done now instead of later…why wait.

    I want him day one to get busy!

  6. By scott023 on Jul 22, 2013 | Reply

    WOW I am really surprised that cooper has not told his agent get this done. If this gets in the way of him not at camp, it will cost him in the long run. I really don’t see the cardinals holding out they have signed everyone else, it must be his agent.

  7. By dieselbomb on Jul 22, 2013 | Reply

    I can understand the concern as to whether Cooper is there from Day One. But I do see the other side of the coin, too. If those who are, arguably, the back-up/back-ups would get first team snaps. That can’t be anything but positive for the entire Offense unit.

    Not suggesting that he hold-out, but other people need work, too. It serves a purpose.

    It would be great if Arians and Crew get the whole depth chart more than ample work so they can judge their real place on the team rightly, instead of guess-work (I’m sure enough of that has to happen anyway). We also know that there won’t be two fields in use at UofP stadium quite like they have at Tempe. So it’s critical they rotate people in and out of the line-up and watch who’s playing very, very carefully.

  8. By clssylssy on Jul 23, 2013 | Reply

    I am tired of these guys thinking they can hold franchises hostage by quibbling over little stuff. Of course they see people like Victor Cruz holding out and they listen to self-serving agents rather than their own good sense so I guess the league has set the pace. I saw where Jason Elam just signed his contract without an agent so I have little sympathy for rookies who say they are SOOO thrilled at the opportunity to play in the NFL only to play hard-to-get when it’s time to sign a simple contract. I hope that Arians will take a hard line when setting his roster and hold out on the holdouts! That will make TWO draftees that were a bust for this season as a good pick is only as good as his first rookie season out of the gate nevermind if they don’t make it to the gate! Come’n Man…you’re making these guys look bad while shooting yourself in the foot!

  9. By aaron on Jul 23, 2013 | Reply

    clssy —

    At no point did I have any clue of what you were trying to say.

  10. By cardsalltheway on Jul 23, 2013 | Reply

    I’d like to know what the team would do without Cooper the first day, two, or three. Unless someone else surprises in preseason Nate Potter should start somewhere on the line be it at LT, L/RG. Or how about Cooper at center, while Potter and Brown take turns at LT and LG to see who is best at either position? No doubt, at least during camp in case of emergency at the center(L.Sendlein) position.

  11. By TheFacts on Jul 23, 2013 | Reply

    Andre Wadsworth signed the night prior to the opener at Dallas, missing all of training camp and preseason.

  12. By Darren Urban on Jul 23, 2013 | Reply

    TheFacts —

    RE: Wadsworth

    True. Also a little before my time.

  13. By Eazy E on Jul 25, 2013 | Reply

    Yeah, this should have already been done. #Gotta Be Patient

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