The Buccaneers giving Riley Cooper a tryout has nothing to do with an upcoming television series.
A lot of things can be said about the Buccaneers general manager, Jason Licht. He’s bold, he likes to gamble. You could say he knows what he wants. He’s honest, and not afraid to admit when he makes a mistake. He is strong-willed and has a passion for the Bucs. You can say all of that and more.
One thing he ISN’T, however, is a guy that listens to outside influences. He picks players that he believes will help the Bucs, and no other reasoning applies.
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As you probably know by now, Riley Cooper is in Bucs camp for a tryout, and is quite excited about it. He was out of the league in 2016 and is exciting about competing for a spot here in Tampa.
Back in 2013, Cooper found himself in hot water for making a racist comment while attending a Kenny Chesney concert. He apologized, and kept his job with the Eagles through the end of the 2015 season. Now he is in Tampa with a second chance at his career.
Justin Grasso of FanSided speculated that Cooper was brought in to influence the ratings of Hard Knocks. We have all seen the way the show does bring out different storylines. After all, it is a TV show as much as anything else.
Unfortunately, that is a very short-sighted way to look at things here. First take a look at Cooper’s stats:
Cooper is only going on 30 years old, so it’s not like he is out of time. Secondly, take a look at these stats. He put up 835 yards and eight touchdowns back in 2013. He put up a career-high 55 receptions in 2014.
Cooper has ability. Period. He may have dropped a bit over the final two years with the Eagles, but he has proven ability in the NFL. Maybe the Bucs can recapture some of that talent and have another weapon for Jameis Winston.
There is no way Jason Licht would bring a player in just for the plot lines of Hard Knocks. Being in rookie camp is not a guarantee that Cooper will be on the team come training camp. That’s first. And to bring in a guy solely for a TV show, that he doesn’t believe can help the team, just isn’t in Licht’s makeup. The same guy that is willing to potentially get rid of a second round pick after one year, one that he traded up for, is not going to bring in a player because HBO said so. It’s simply not going to happen.
Do you agree? Would Licht bring a guy in for TV?