Marcus Cooper
refer to caption
Cooper with the Chiefs in 2014
No. 31 – New York Jets
Personal information
Born: (1990-02-01) February 1, 1990 (age 30)
Bloomfield, Connecticut[1]
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:192 lb (87 kg)
Career information
High school:Bloomfield
(Bloomfield, Connecticut)
NFL Draft:2013 / Round: 7 / Pick: 252
Career history
* San Francisco 49ers ( 2013)*
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status:Active
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Total tackles:154
Defensive touchdowns:1
Fumble recoveries:1
Forced fumbles:2
Pass deflections:36
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Marcus Cooper Sr. (born February 1, 1990)[1] is an American football cornerback for the New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played college football for Rutgers University. Cooper has also played for the Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, and Detroit Lions.

Early yearsEdit

Cooper attended Bloomfield High School in Bloomfield, Connecticut, where he was a two-sport star in football and track. In football, he finished his career as the school's all-time leader in receiving yards, touchdowns, receptions and consecutive games with a touchdown. He also ranks second in Connecticut history in career receiving yards (3,014), touchdown receptions (43), and consecutive games with a touchdown reception (13).

Also an standout track & field athlete, Cooper was a state qualifier in the 100 meters. At the 2008 Bloomfield Invitational, he took gold in the long jump, with a leap of 6.48 meters (21 ft, 1 in), while also earning second-place finishes in both the 100-meter dash (10.79 s) and the high jump (2.04 m) events.[2] In addition, he also ran the 55-meter dash in 6.47 seconds and clocked a 4.45-second 40-yard dash.

College careerEdit

Cooper played all four years for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, but saw limited playing time as a starter during his first two seasons. He switched to cornerback in his final year at Rutgers and his playing time increased immensely along with his production.

Professional careerEdit

Coming out of Rutgers, Cooper was projected by the majority of NFL draft experts and analysts to be selected in the seventh round or be a priority undrafted free agent signing immediately after the conclusion of the draft. He did not receive an invitation to the NFL Combine due to the fact that Cooper was not a highly projected prospect. On March 13, 2013, Cooper participated at Rutgers pro day and opted to perform all of the combine and positional drills for the team representatives and scouts from all 32 NFL teams. His overall performance was seen as a success and showcased his ability.[3][4] He was ranked the 40th best cornerback prospect in the draft by

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 2 in 200 lb 4.45 s 1.59 s 2.61 s 4.42 s 6.89 s 39½ in 10 ft 9 in 20 reps

San Francisco 49ersEdit

The San Francisco 49ers selected Cooper in the seventh round (252nd overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft.[5][6] He was the 29th and final cornerback selected during the draft.

On May 10, 2013, the San Francisco 49ers signed Cooper to a four-year, $2.20 million contract with a signing bonus of $45,896.[7]

He competed with Tramaine Brock, Chris Culliver, Darryl Morris, and Lowell Rose throughout training camp for a job as a backup cornerback.[8] On August 31, 2013, the San Francisco 49ers waived Cooper as part of their final roster cuts.[9]

Kansas City ChiefsEdit

On September 1, 2013, the Kansas City Chiefs claimed him off waivers and added him to their active roster.[7][10] Upon arrival, head coach Andy Reid named Cooper the Chiefs' fourth cornerback on their depth chart behind veterans Sean Smith, Brandon Flowers, and Dunta Robinson.[11]

He made his professional regular season debut during the Chiefs' season-opening 28-2 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars and finished with one tackle. On September 29, 2013, Cooper earned his first career start in a 31-7 win over the New York Giants and recorded a tackle and two pass deflections. He started in place of Brandon Flowers, who was unable to play due to a knee injury.[12] The following week, he recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown, made three combined tackles, three pass deflections, and made the first interception of his career, picking off Tennessee Titans' quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in a 26-17 victory.[13] In Week 5, Cooper earned five solo tackles, a season-high four pass deflections, and intercepted a pass from Terrelle Pryor during a 24-7 victory over the Oakland Raiders. On December 1, 2013, Cooper started his fifth game of his rookie season and recorded a season-high eight combined tackles, defended a pass, and intercepted a pass from Peyton Manning during a 35-28 loss to the Denver Broncos.[14]

He finished with a total of 44 combined tackles (41 solo), a career-high 18 pass deflections, and three interceptions in six starts and 16 games. Cooper won the Mack Lee Hill Award at the end of the 2013 season for being the most productive rookie on the team.[15] After finishing second in the AFC West with an 11-5 record the Kansas City Chiefs received a playoff berth. On January 4, 2014, Cooper appeared in his first career postseason game and recorded two combined tackles and defended a pass as the Chiefs lost to the Indianapolis Colts 44-45 in the AFC Wildcard game.[16]


Cooper entered a competition in training camp for the vacant starting cornerback position left by the departure of Brandon Flowers. He competed with Ron Parker, Chris Owens, Phillip Gaines, and DeMarcus Van Dyke. He was named the starting cornerback, opposite Sean Smith, to begin the regular season.[17]

He missed the season-opener against the Tennessee Titans due to an ankle injury he suffered during practice.[18] On September 14, 2014, Cooper made his season debut and recorded five combined tackles and defended two passes during a 17-24 loss to the Denver Broncos. The following week, he recorded a season-high six combined tackles in a 34-15 victory over the Miami Dolphins. Cooper lost his starting cornerback job to Jamell Fleming after returning from a Week 6 bye. For the remainder of the season his role was extremely diminished, even after Fleming missed multiple games due to a hamstring injury. He was a healthy scratch for Weeks 16 and 17.[19] He finished with a total of 21 solo tackles and three pass deflections in 13 games and four starts.


Cooper returned to training camp in 2015, facing stiff competition from Phillip Gaines, Marcus Peters, Jamell Fleming, Sanders Commings, and Steven Nelson as all were vying for the starting cornerback job. Head coach Andy Reid named Cooper the fourth cornerback on the Chiefs depth chart to begin the regular season, behind Sean Smith, Marcus Peters, and Jamell Fleming.[20]

He was inactive for the Chiefs' 27-20 season-opening victory against the Houston Texans.[21] On September 28, 2015, Cooper earned his first start of the season after Sean Smith was suspended for the first three games of the season for a D.U.I. arrest.[22][23] He finished the 28-38 loss to the Green Bay Packers with only one tackle. From Week 5 to Week 10, Cooper was a healthy scratch and was deactivated.[24] He completed his dismal 2015 season with only two combined tackles in ten games and one start.[16] Cooper was deactivated for both of the Chiefs postseason games after finishing 11-5.


Cooper attended training camp with the Chiefs in 2016. He fell further down the depth chart behind Marcus Peters, Phillip Gaines, Steven Nelson, KeiVarae Russell, and Eric Murray.[25]

Arizona CardinalsEdit

On September 2, 2016, the Kansas City Chiefs traded Cooper to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for a conditional seventh round draft pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.[26] The Cardinals acquired him after losing Mike Jenkins to an ACL tear and Alan Ball to a quadriceps injury.

Upon his arrival, Cooper was named the fourth cornerback on the depth chart, behind Patrick Peterson, Justin Bethel, and Brandon Williams.[27][28]

He made his Arizona Cardinals debut in their season-opener, as they lost to the New England Patriots 21-23. On September 18, 2016, Cooper recorded seven combined tackles, three pass deflections, a touchdown, and intercepted Tampa Bay Buccaneers' quarterback Jameis Winston twice during a 40-7 victory. His third quarter interception for a 60-yard touchdown was his first career touchdown.[29] Head coach Bruce Arians named Cooper the starting cornerback after he performed well in Week 2, replacing Brandon Williams. On September 25, 2016, Cooper earned his first start as a member of the Cardinals and made seven combined tackles and deflected a pass during an 18-34 loss to the Buffalo Bills. In Week 5, he collected three combined tackles, a pass deflection, and intercepted a pass attempt by San Francisco 49ers' quarterback Blaine Gabbert in a 33-21 victory.[30] During a Week 1 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons, Cooper had a career-high nine solo tackle performance as the Cardinals were defeated 19-38. He completed his only season in Arizona with a career-high 69 combined tackles (63 solo), 11 pass deflections, and a career-high four interceptions in 13 starts and 15 games.[16] Cooper led the Cardinals in interceptions in 2016 with four and was an alternate for the 2017 Pro Bowl.[31] The Arizona Cardinals finished with a dismal 7-8-1 record and did not receive a playoff berth, making it the first time in they finished with a losing season during the Bruce Arians head coaching era.


Cooper became a free agent for the first time in his career after the conclusion of the 2016. He drew interest and spoke to the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets, and Chicago Bears.[32] Arizona Cardinals' Head coach Bruce Arians expressed interest into resigning him but stated that, "The price looks like its going pretty high for him, so we'll wait and see."[33]

Chicago BearsEdit

On March 11, 2017, the Chicago Bears signed Cooper to a three-year, $16 million contract that includes $8 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $1.5 million.[34][7] The Arizona Cardinals received a compensatory sixth round draft pick in the 2018 NFL Draft after losing Cooper in free agency.

He attended Chicago Bears' training camp and competed for one of the vacant starting cornerback jobs left after the Bears released Tracy Porter and Jacoby Glenn. Head coach John Fox named Cooper the starting cornerback to begin the regular season, opposite Prince Amukamara, after winning the job over Bryce Callahan, Johnthan Banks, Kyle Fuller, Sherrick McManis, Deiondre' Hall, Cre'Von LeBlanc, and B. W. Webb.[35][36]

Cooper started the Chicago Bears' season-opener against the Atlanta Falcons and made four solo tackles and defended a pass during the 23-17 loss.[16] He was unable to play in the Bears' Week 6 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings due to a back injury. After Prince Amukamara missed the first two games he started in place of Cooper in Week 3 and supplanted him as the starter, along with Kyle Fuller. Cooper appeared in Week 6 and 7, he was limited and did not record a stat in both games.[37]

On March 14, 2018, Cooper was released by the Bears.[38] On March 27, he re-signed with the Bears.[39] He was released on November 21.[40]

Detroit LionsEdit

On November 22, 2018, Cooper was claimed off waivers by the Detroit Lions.[41]

On March 16, 2019, Cooper signed a one-year contract to remain with the Lions.[42] He was released on August 12, 2019.[43]

New York JetsEdit

On August 14, 2019, Cooper was signed by the Arizona Cardinals.[44]


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  2. Knapp, Ronald F.. "Outdoor Track-Field 2008 Results - Bloomfield Invite".
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  4. Jason Davis. "2013 NFL Draft: Rutgers Pro Day Recap".
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  6. "Marcus Cooper Draft Profile". Retrieved April 28, 2013.
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  9. "49ers Sign Five Draft Picks". Retrieved May 10, 2013.
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  21. Joel Thorman (September 13, 2015). "Chiefs vs. Texans: Eric Fisher and Dontari Poe active, Jeff Allen is inactive".
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  23. Adam Teicher (July 24, 2015). "Chiefs CB Sean Smith suspended 3 games for DUI".
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  25. " Kansas City Chiefs' depth chart: 08/01/2016". Retrieved October 26, 2017.
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  27. Alex Mann (September 2, 2016). "Arizona Cardinals release first Depth Chart of 2016".
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  30. "NFL Game Center: Week 5-2016: Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers".
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  32. Jess Root (March 10, 2017). "CB Marcus Cooper drawing interest from Steelers".
  33. Jess Root (March 2, 2017). "'Price is going up pretty high' for Cardinals to re-sign CB Marcus Cooper".
  34. Mayer, Larry (March 11, 2017). "Bears ink DB Cooper to 3-year deal".
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  37. "Bears CB Marcus Cooper inactive vs. Vikings with back injury". October 9, 2017.
  38. Mayer, Larry (March 14, 2018). "Roster moves: Bears release Glennon, Wheaton, Cooper". Archived from the original on March 15, 2018.
  39. Williams, Charean (March 27, 2018). "Bears agree to terms with Marcus Cooper, Patrick Scales".
  40. Mayer, Larry (November 21, 2018). "Roster Moves: Bears promote Bray, release Cooper".
  41. Williams, Charean (November 22, 2018). "Lions claim Marcus Cooper off waivers". Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  42. Smith, Michael David (March 16, 2019). "Lions keep cornerback Marcus Cooper". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports.
  43. "Lions sign free agent CB Jamar Summers". August 12, 2019.
  44. Lange, Randy (August 13, 2019). "Jets Sign Veteran CB Marcus Cooper, Waive TE Nick Truesdell".

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