ESPN analyst rips into $166m ‘turd’

Rex Ryan has no love for Amari Cooper.

The former Jets coach made a number of scathing comments on ESPN’s Get Up on Friday about the Cowboys’ decision to give Cooper a blockbuster five-year, AU$166 million contract extension earlier this off-season.

“I wouldn’t have paid this turd,” Ryan said of the 25-year-old receiver. “No way in hell would I have paid this guy.”

The Raiders’ 2015 first-rounder was traded to Dallas in the middle of the 2018 season for a 2019 first-round pick. He was set to hit free agency this March before the Cowboys signed him to a long-term deal on March 16th.

Cooper finished the 2019 season with 79 receptions for a career-high 1189 yards and eight touchdowns, but Ryan was still able to find fault in some of his situational statistics.

“This is the biggest disappearing act in the National Football League,” Ryan said. “He doesn’t show up on the road, he doesn’t show up against when the competition is good — when he’s up against the top corners, that guy disappears.

“To me, you pay Dak Prescott. Forget all those numbers. They’re No. 1 in the league because of Dak Prescott, not because of this guy. It’s a deep draft at receiver. They made a huge mistake right here.”

Amari Cooper has represented the Dallas Cowboys since 2018Source:AP

The Cowboys exercised the exclusive franchise tag on 26-year-old Prescott earlier this off-season and are in the midst of negotiating a longer-term contract. The two parties have until July 15th to agree on a deal.

The comments came as a shock to some in the football community with NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport calling for Ryan to apologise.

“What has Amari Cooper done to deserve this personal attack? He’s a hard worker, played through injuries, and is a good teammate. Rex Ryan should apologise,” Rapaport tweeted.

Hours later, Ryan issued an apology in response to the backlash.

“I can’t believe I said that, used that word,” he said on SportsCenter.

“Obviously it was a poor choice by me to say what I said about Amari. Anybody who knows me — look, quite honestly, I think the world of every player and have a great deal of respect for every single player in the National Football League, including Amari Cooper.”

ESPN analyst Rex RyanSource:News Corp Australia

Ryan also defended his earlier assessment of what he feels to be the wideout’s shortcomings.

“With that being said, I think the Cowboys overspent for Amari Cooper,” Ryan continued.

“The reason for it is, I don’t doubt that this is an elite player. He has those traits. But an elite player to me shows up on the road, he shows up against great corners, and he shows up in crunch time, and those are three things that Amari Cooper has not done so far in his career. In fact, I think he’s won one playoff game as a player. And all of those things are how I feel about this young man as a receiver.

“But what I added at the end of that, I want to apologise to Amari again and hope he accepts my apology.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Post and was republished with permission

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