Whatever the contract dispute between the Arizona Cardinals and 2013 first-round draft pick Jonathan Cooper is it must get resolved immediately. Cooper, along with 14 other first-round picks from around the league, has yet to ink a deal. The offensive guard who was selected No. 7 overall needs to get on board so that he can join his teammates in training camp this week as the Cardinals prepare for the upcoming NFL season.
“We continue to have ongoing conversations with his representatives but no deal is imminent at this time,” general manager Steve Keim said Monday morning, according to AZCardinals.com.
There is no reason to believe Cooper will not be ready for training camp. At the very least, he will miss a couple practices but nothing major, at least that is the hope. The fact is he would have to be absent for the next month or so for it to have a major impact on his development for the 2013 regular season.
Cooper practiced with the first team offense earlier this year and clearly has what it takes to be a starter when the Cardinals take the field on Sept. 8 against the St. Louis Rams. Whether he signs his rookie contract on time is somewhat irrelevant because it should not affect his starting status, unless of course he does not get agree to the terms of the deal until September. With that being said, it would be nice for the contract to get done soon so that Arizona can put it at ease.
The 23-year-old was a consensus All-American and first-team All-ACC during his senior season at North Carolina.