Michael Gallup is slated to earn $2.443 million in 2021, the final year of his rookie contract. It will be the biggest single-season payout of the Dallas Cowboys wide receiver’s young career — and a mere drop in the bucket compared to his next deal.
Ahead of an inevitable foray into unrestricted free agency, Gallup is projected to meet or surpass the three-year, $37.5 million pact ($12.5 million annually) that WR Corey Davis inked with the Jets earlier this offseason, predicts Kyle Youmans of the official team website.
“Will Gallup have the type of season he did in 2019 and earn his way to a big-money contract from the Cowboys or another team? Or will he be third in the pecking order for a second year in a row behind Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb? Either way, there is a big chance for Gallup on the table entering the final year of his rookie deal, especially when looking at other wide receiver deals signed this offseason,” Youmans recently wrote. “On the long-term scale, Corey Davis signed a 3-year, $37.5 million contract with the Jets and Curtis Samuel signed for 3-years and $35.5 million in Washington. Each of which are around the deals that Gallup would earn should he have a big season with the return of Dak Prescott. Short-term wise, JuJu Smith-Schuster signed a one year prove it deal to stay with Pittsburgh after a rough 2020, something we could see for Gallup should he have similar production.”
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Gallup is a bona fide pass-catcher who would start on just about every team in the NFL. That is not in question. What is in question, however, are his future prospects with the Cowboys, who committed $100 million to Amari Cooper and a first-round pick on CeeDee Lamb.
Although some believe the organization should prioritize Gallup’s ceiling over Cooper’s floor, a more likely outcome entails the 2018 third-round pick departing via free agency, the proverbial bag secured elsewhere. That has been the opinion of Dallas’ in-house media arm, and it hasn’t deviated.
“We’ve covered this as thoroughly as possible, and now we’re just going to have to wait and see. But if I had to guess, I don’t think the Cowboys can afford to franchise Gallup, and I also don’t think they can compete with the offers he’ll see on the open market,” wrote David Helman of the official team site. “I know we’ve talked about the possibility of cutting or trading Amari Cooper and keeping Gallup – but I’m not sure enough people respect the fact that Amari Cooper just turned 27 and is one of the 10 best receivers in football. I’m not ready to part ways with that, unless something crazy happens this season. I respect Gallup’s gam tremendously, but this is a business and I’m guessing that’s why he’ll be playing elsewhere in 2022.”
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Gallup ‘Obviously’ Eyeing Free Agency
Appearing on NFL Network last month, Gallup expressed his desire to remain in Dallas alongside Cooper, Lamb, and the rest. But the owner of 2,457 yards and 13 touchdowns on 158 catches — and counting — also bandied the idea of testing the waters next March, copping to the “obvious.”
“You’re obviously going to think about [your contract] but you can’t really do anything about it but go out on the field and do what you’re supposed to do,” Gallup said. “You’re not going to get that contract if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do on the field first. That’s one thing to think about. You can’t really talk anything into the future. You just got to do what you’re supposed to do right now. So, for me, it’s going out there [and] helping this club win ballgames, have fun doing it. Obviously, I’d love to stay here. Love to be in Dallas. Love the community, love the city, love the fans. It’s up in the air, but I want to be right here. So, we’ll see.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL