The AFC East effectively has been a cakewalk for the Patriots over the past decade-plus.
That soon might not be the case.
In addition to Tom Brady’s potential departure, New England’s three divisional rivals all are poised for stark improvement this offseason. The Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets all rank among the top 13 teams with the most salary cap space this spring, per Over The Cap, and each could be in play for one of, if not multiple top impending free agents.
Arguably the best wide receiver who could become available in the coming weeks is Amari Cooper, and ESPN believes the four-time Pro Bowl selection would be a great fit in the Meadowlands.
“The Jets certainly have a need on the offensive line, but the same can be said about wide receiver, especially with Robby Anderson’s future with the team up in the air,” Ben Linsey wrote. “The Cowboys shouldn’t let Cooper hit the open market, but if he does, the Jets should be one of the first teams to line up for his services. Between his elite route running and his ability to get over the top of the defense — Cooper’s 503 receiving yards on passes 20 or more yards downfield was the third-most in the NFL last season — he would give Sam Darnold a No. 1 option unlike anything he has had through the first two seasons of his career.”
Darnold showed flashes of stardom over his first two seasons throwing to the likes of Anderson, Jamison Crowder, Quincy Enunwa and Demaryius Thomas. The addition of Cooper would provide Darnold with a legitimate No. 1 receiving option for the first time in his career. It’s important to remember the USC product just turned 22 this past June, and New York’s offense could become a high-powered unit with Cooper and Le’Veon Bell at Darnold’s disposal.
But as Lindsey touched upon, Dallas should do whatever it takes to keep Cooper off the market.