December 9, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper (14) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-21. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Should Riley Cooper Be Released?

Well by now you know Riley Cooper’s name, and you also know that it is not for good reason. To be brief, Cooper was caught on camera dropping the n-bomb at a Kenny Chesney concert. The story is attracting heavy interest, and is not the attention that the Philadelphia Eagles want surrounding them. As of today, Cooper was excused from all Eagles activites and sent off for counceling until he is ready. Even with the counceling, the question still needs to be asked. Should Riley Cooper be released? To me, the answer is yes.

For starters, the entire incident is dividing the Eagles locker room. Here are what some of Cooper’s teamates have to say about the matter.

Riley is my friend, and our relationship has always been about mutual respect. He looked me in the eyes and apologized to me and my teammates. I believe in forgiveness and I believe in him.”-Michael Vick


I never dealt with anything like this in my years in the National Football League, I can take it for face value and say, ‘Oh, that’s the person.’ Or I can judge the man’s character from the four years I’ve known him and the way he’s treated people around our building.”- Jason Avant


He’s still a teammate. I’m still going to block for him. I’m still gonna show great effort. Just on a friendship level, and as a person, I can’t really respect somebody like that. I think as a team, we need to move past it. There are some things that are going to be hard to work with, to be honest.”-LeSean McCoy

Clearly some players feel differently about what happened, and that is not a good thing. There is a lot of tension in the locker room, and players are saying that they can not even respect a guy on their team. According to Head Coach Chip Kelly there is a major concern over how the team as a whole is reacting to the incident. An NFL team should consist of players that truly share a bond together, but Cooper seems to be changing his teammates minds.

The next point is quite frank. Riley Cooper isn’t very good. His career numbers consist of 46 total receptions, and 5 touchdowns. 46 receptions are not impressive for a player going into his fourth year in the NFL. Sure, he could step in and start for the injured Jeremy Maclin and have a “career” year, but are fans really expecting Cooper to make a major impact? Probably not. The Eagles have several other wide receivers on the roster that are just as good. You have to question if it is really worth keeping a mediocre player with so much controversy surrounding him.

The last point I have to make as to why I think Cooper should be released is that he is a distraction that the team simply does not need right now. There is already a lot of pressure for this team to bounce back from an awful season last year. The team also is holding an open competition for the starting quarterback gig. At this point, the Eagles really do not need to be dealing with such an ignorant act. With the team heading into the season with so much adversity, they do not need the added burden of Cooper.

With Riley Cooper stepping aside from training camp it is fair to wonder if he will ever but pads on for the Eagles again. There has been mixed reports on if they will cut Cooper or not, but it is very difficult to get a grasp on what the Eagles are thinking right now. With the quarterback situation still not resolved, and the necessity to improve next year, keeping Riley Cooper on the roster does not seem to make sense. It will be interesting to see how the situation is resolved, but I do not see Cooper making a difference for this Eagles team even if he is spared his spot on the roster.

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Tags: Jason Avant Michael Vick Philadelphia Eagles Riley Cooper

  • arnie

    Sure. if you can name on person that hasn’t done something dumb in their lifetime. It’s not like he killed anyone (allegedly), arrested for DUi, Domestic violence, or tried to party in a nightclub with a loaded gun in his waistband. Or, popped for PED.
    Racial remarks have no place anywhere. neither do Jokes about gays and derogatory ones of women. Can the eagles truthfully tell us any of that kind of behavior didn’t go on in the locker room? or didn’t get a chuckle?
    Cooper did something stupid. he apologized, was fined, and now dismissed from team activities. and is in counseling. People were hurt i get that. Like everything, it will take time to heal. All relationships, worth saving, can be. But are they willing to give him the time to prove his sincerity? if not. I expect every player from here on out to be dealt with, in the same manner. no matter how “innocent” the joke/remaks may be.
    How many chances did PacMan Jones get? was his behavior any less acceptable? yet he’s still playing.

  • Moby Dick

    Do you really understand football? It irks me when idiots write football columns and don’t know anything about it. Riley is coming into the Goldilocks season for WRs, the 3rd yr is when most WRs get comfortable and take their games to the next level. Riley is in that situation and was poised to do that, esp. with Maclin out. Benn is hurt, Johnson is too small, the others are question-marks and likely need time. Obviously the Eagles need this guy badly. So this column is foolish waste of time.

    As for Riley the man, I doubt he’s a racist, give him a 2nd chance I say (I am a coloured man).

    • Mike Catalino

      First off,he is going into his fourth season not his third. Second what has he done to prove to you that he has potential? Cooper is just as much as question mark as the receivers you listed. To say the Eagles need him badly is “foolish.” Not sure how how I’m an idiot like you suggest,and don’t know football when your the one who forget to check the facts.

      • Moby Dick

        You dismiss him purely on what he has done so far. That is where you are wrong. Most good and great WRs come into their own after 3 complete seasons, which, as you say, he is entering his 4th. This is a known fact. And Riley is entering that zone. Further, ‘potential’ means we wait and see if he’s got what it takes, which we are poised to find out this year. All indications are that he is most ready both physically and mentally to become a #2 WR for this team, maybe even #1.