OXNARD, Calif. – Considered one of the more laid-back players on the team, wide receiver Amari Cooper was literally doing just that after the first practice in training camp while he chatted with a few reporters.
Leaning against a rail to one of the corporate sponsor tents, Cooper wasn’t fazed by contract talks, stating he only really thinks about his potential new deal when he gets asked by reporters.
“I really think the media thinks about it more than I think about it,” he said. “I just think it’s going to come naturally. Whether it happens in the offseason or not, it’s really not a big deal to me.”
Obviously, the biggest news of camp centers on Ezekiel Elliott and his absence from camp as he seeks a new contract.
Naturally, the question was asked to Cooper, wondering why he doesn’t have the same approach.
“I just want to be here. I really haven’t been thinking about my contract situation,” Cooper said. “I don’t know why, but I want to be here running routes, catching balls from Dak. I think it’s necessary because I think it’s going to help me achieve what I want to achieve this season.”
That being said, he has no animosity or frustration with Zeke’s decision not to be here.
“Different strokes for different folks,” said Cooper, who explained why his situation is unlike Zeke, or even Le’Veon Bell and Melvin Gordon. “Their situations are different than mine. I have a fifth-year option coming up to where I get paid a significant amount of money if I play on that. But the running back position, you know Melvin is one of my good friends, and he tells me the contract he would play on this year isn’t even…. It’s nothing. It’s peanuts to an elephant. Everybody’s situation is different.”
Cooper knows the reason why most players hold out of camp. But he doesn’t allow himself to think negatively and worry about things out of his control.
“I’m just optimistic about it. It’s something that’s going to happen,” Cooper said of getting a new deal. “Whether it happens today, tomorrow or whatever. I’m not worried about me getting hurt or anything and it not happening. I just don’t think like that.”