San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly could be bringing some of the Philadelphia Eagles along with him to the Bay Area. He’s already brought along a couple of his assistant coaches with him to the Niners, and with the release of Riley Cooper today, Kelly might also have one of his favorite wide receivers as well. Cooper’s release was reported by ESPN earlier today.
Coaches like to have familiarity around them to make life easier on the new job. Bill Parcells, who has coached the New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys, always made sure to bring along a couple of his players. Vinny Testaverde played quarterback for the Jets and Cowboys when Parcells was the head coach there, while offensive tackle Jumbo Elliott played for Parcells on the Jets and Giants.
Prior to being hired by the San Francisco 49ers, Chip Kelly had only held one job in the NFL. However, there’s bound to be a couple of Philadelphia Eagles players who are loyal to him and would be willing to follow him around the league. Riley Cooper might be one of those guys, because Kelly gave him a chance to be explosive in that high octane offense that he brought with him from the Oregon Ducks.
A large part of the reason why the Philadelphia Eagles decided to release Riley Cooper today is because his production has declined while his salary is scheduled to increase. While Eagles executives may have liked Cooper, they don’t feel that it would be the best football or financial decision to pay Riley the remainder of his five year contract, worth $22.5 million total. Their actions show they believe it would be better for Philadelphia if they find new wide receivers in the NFL Draft instead.
Riley Cooper is an exceptional blocker as a wide receiver, which bodes well for him because the San Francisco 49ers love to run the ball. Expect Chip Kelly to make full use of Carlos Hyde when he comes back healthy next season. The former Ohio State Buckeyes star showed a lot of promise in his first year of taking over for Frank Gore. Since the Niners offensive line still needs to be reloaded, they’re going to need as much blocking help as they can from the wide receivers and tight ends.
The San Francisco 49ers know that their quarterback situation needs to be resolved if they want any chance of making it back to the NFL Playoffs. Management likes having Blaine Gabbert around, but he does not seem like a long-term solution at quarterback. Colin Kaerpenick reportedly wants to play for the New York Jets. Chip Kelly might be interested in acquiring Sam Bradford from the Philadelphia Eagles. Then again, the Niners might also draft a quarterback.
Regardless of who starts at quarterback, it would be a wise move for the San Francisco 49ers to acquire as many offensive weapons as possible to make it easier for the signal caller. Riley Cooper is a speedy wide receiver whom can be paired up with the underutilized Torey Smith to provide a deep attack, which would open up the middle of the field for Anquan Boldin and the tight ends.
Another underrated benefit from signing Riley Cooper is that he can be another teacher on the field for the other San Francisco 49ers players because of his familiarity with the offensive scheme. Having another person in the film room who can answer some questions, that’s quite the perk for any head coach.
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