Raiders re-sign Cooper following four-game suspension
Updated: October 12, 2007, 4:01 PM ETBy Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com
The Oakland Raiders on Friday re-signed six-year veteran safety Jarrod Cooper, who they had released on July 25 after he was suspended for the first four games of the season for a violation of the NFL's steroid policy.
Cooper, 29, worked out for Oakland officials and coaches on Tuesday and then met again with head coach Lane Kiffin on Thursday. He practiced with the club Friday and is expected to participate on special teams when the Raiders play at San Diego on Sunday. To create a roster spot for Cooper, the team released defensive back B.J. Ward. When the Raiders released Cooper, it was felt by some that the move might end the career of the former Kansas State standout, who is regarded as one of the NFL's best special teams players but whose tenure in the league has been marked by a series of off-field problems. But the Raiders obviously feel Cooper can upgrade their special teams coverage units and also contribute in nickel and dime coverage packages. Cooper served as Oakland's special teams captain in 2006 and was a very popular player among his teammates. The suspension this year was the second four-game sanction of Cooper's career. In 2003, while with the Carolina Panthers, he was suspended four games and docked six game checks after a second incident in which he was charged with driving while impaired. The Panthers released Cooper in the spring of 2004 after he was accused of providing false information to a police officer. A fifth-round pick in the 2001 draft, Cooper has appeared in 81 games. He has 126 tackles, three passes defensed, two forced fumbles, two recoveries and 1½ sacks on defense. On special teams, Cooper has posted 79 tackles. Details of the contract Cooper signed on Friday were not immediately available. Under the terms of his previous contract, which was voided when the Raiders released him in July, he was to have had a base salary of $1.15 million for 2007. Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.