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Report: Riley Cooper Will Be in Significant Demand

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Eagles pending free agent wide receiver Riley Cooper is expected to draw an active market.

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According to a report from ProFootballTalk, the Eagles will have competition if/when wide receiver Riley Cooper hits free agency when the new league year starts on March 11th.

Per a league source, [Cooper] will have a significant demand for his services if/when he hits the market.

Cooper, previously a backup for the first three years of his career, was thrust into a starting role when Jeremy Maclin suffered a season-ending ACL injury in 2013 training camp. Despite a slow start, Cooper finished the season with solid numbers: 47 receptions for 835 yards and 8 touchdowns. Cooper's 17.8 yards per reception ranked 9th highest in the NFL. Cooper experienced a career year in his first season under Chip Kelly's offense and really seemed to find a groove with second year quarterback Nick Foles.

It's no surprise, then, that Cooper has stated he wants to return to the Eagles. According to PFT, the interest in mutual: the Eagles would like to keep Cooper. But if it were only that simple, Cooper would be re-signed by now. The situation is complicated because Jeremy Maclin, aforementioned, is also set to be a free agent. Maclin has also stated he wants to return to the Eagles, and the Eagles reportedly want to bring him back as well. The Eagles have over $20 million in cap space to spend, but they face a tough decision in deciding to bring back either Maclin, Cooper, or both.

Assuming PFT's report is true, it's hard to envision Cooper returning to the Eagles on the cheap. There was once a thought that this was a possibility considering Cooper's only-recent spike in production and how other teams would view him due to the racial slur incident last summer. However, PFT reports Cooper's slur won't complicated his next deal.

If the Eagles let Cooper hit free agency but want him to return, they will have to make a competitive offer to outbid other suitors. It remains to be seen if such an offer is in the Eagles' best interest.