No, they are extremely different players. Yes, one is undeniably a better player to have in your locker room. Yeah, one is one of the best punt returners of all time. Yeah, one had over twice as many receptions as the other.
And yes, Riley Cooper's contract will definitely impact Julian Edelman's.
Just like how DeAngelo Hall's monstrosity of a deal with the Redskins will affect the contract Aqib Talib will hopefully sign in New England, Cooper's 5 year, $25mm deal sets the tone for wide receivers on the market.
Cooper posted 47 receptions for 835 yards and 8 touchdowns, while Edelman ranked 4th in the league with 105 grabs, although they went for "just" 1,056 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Edelman had a more successful season, but Cooper, at 6'3, 215, plays a more desired role. Outside receivers are in higher demand and will receive greater contracts, regardless of the statistics slot players post.
The Patriots will tell Edelman's camp that he's replaceable. Danny Amendola's under contract. T.J. Moe could own the slot.
Edelman's camp will counter and say that he was the only reliable receiver all season and that he spent more than 50% of his snaps on the outside.
But the bar has been set at 5 years, $25 million. Is Edelman worth more, or less than that mark? Would you consider him roughly equivalent in value to Cooper?
The Patriots could stand to let Edelman test the post-Cooper market in hopes that teams use Philly's contract as the benchmark ceiling. It's risky, but it's very likely.
How do you think the Patriots should handle the market?