The early signs point to the Dallas Cowboys releasing star receiver Amari Cooper without receiving anything in return but a trade would allow the team to at least get some help in replacing the playmaker. Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox suggested a few potential trade proposals including one sending Cooper to the Browns. The Cowboys would receive tight end Harrison Bryant and a third-round pick (No. 98) in the upcoming draft in the proposed deal.
“The Cleveland Browns have a projected $28.9 million in cap space and should be able to find room for Cooper on the roster,” Knox explained on March 7. “The Browns also need a proven No. 1 receiver and may wind up with a surplus of tight ends.”
This is far from a haul for the Cowboys in exchange for a four-time Pro Bowler, but it accomplishes two things. First, it at least allows the Cowboys to receive something in return for Cooper instead of his rumored release. Finally, the Cowboys are free of Cooper’s $20 million annual salary he is due over the next three seasons.
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The Cowboys Are Receiving Calls About Potential Cooper Trades
NFL Network’s Jane Slater reported the Cowboys do not plan to release Cooper until the last possible moment. The reason is the Cowboys have been receiving calls about potential trades for Cooper. Dallas has until the fifth day of the new league year (March 20) to release Cooper before his $20 million salary for 2022 becomes fully guaranteed.
“Don’t expect news on Amari Cooper until we get closer to the 5th day of the league year? Why? I’m told the Cowboys have been fielding some calls,” Slater tweeted on March 9. “Advantage for teams? You don’t battle for him on open market. They get to redo the deal and can spread money out via signing bonus.”
Schultz May Once Again be a Free Agent in 2023
As for the Browns’ potential offer, Bryant would have some appeal for the Cowboys. Dallas placed the franchise tag on starter Dalton Schultz which keeps him in Dallas for another year, but he will be a free agent in 2023 if the team does not come to an agreement on long-term deal later this summer.
Blake Jarwin is recovering from hip surgery and is expected to miss the start of the season. Bryant would give the Cowboys some depth behind Schultz and also could be a potential replacement option if the team loses the tight end next offseason.
Cleveland Is a Team to Watch in the Cooper Sweepstakes
The Browns tight end put up a modest 45 receptions for 471 yards and six touchdowns during his two NFL seasons. Bryant has also been stuck behind a deep Browns tight end group that includes Austin Hooper and David Njoku. Dallas could potentially give Bryant increased snaps if he can beat out Jarwin to be the team’s second tight end.
Whether it is this package with Bryant or not, the Browns are a team to watch in the final days of the Cooper sweepstakes. The Athletic’s Jeff Howe and Zac Jackson reported that Cooper is one of the wideouts the Browns are considering to upgrade their receiver group.
“The Browns plan to overhaul their group of wide receivers in free agency and the draft,” Howe and Jackson detailed on March 4. “They’ve known for days that Cowboys wideout Amari Cooper would be available through a trade or release and have interest in a talented group of free agents that includes Chris Godwin, Mike Williams and Allen Robinson.”