To little surprise, the ACL tear that Michael Gallup sustained in early January will impede the (soon-to-be-former?) Dallas Cowboys wide receiver’s profitability in mid-March.
One of the top pass-catchers set to hit 2022 NFL unrestricted free agency, Gallup recently was projected by The Athletic to draw little more than a one-year, prove-it deal from interested suitors on the open market.
“Gallup suffered through injuries in 2021, including a torn ACL in Week 17. He appeared in only nine games and had 35 catches for 445 yards. But from 2019 to 2020, Gallup’s 1,950 yards ranked 22nd among wide receivers, and his 15.6 YPR average ranked fourth among players with at least 100 catches during that span,” The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia noted on Monday, February 7.
“Gallup projects as a field-stretching, outside starting wide receiver. Given that he’s coming off of a late-season injury, it’s tough to know how much interest Gallup will generate. Will Fuller got a one-year, $10.6 million deal last offseason. A similar deal could be in play for Gallup.”
ALL the latest Dallas Cowboys news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Cowboys newsletter here!
Diving Deeper Into Gallup’s Value
Prior to his injury, and ahead of first-career free-agency foray, Gallup was predicted by Pro Football Focus to score a four-year, $55 million contract — $13.75 million annually with $32.5 million guaranteed — which would have catapulted him among the league’s highest-paid WRs.
Gallup is a really intriguing receiver who is capable of doing a lot and even generating yards and catches against elite corners like Jalen Ramsey. He may not have the ceiling, consistency or elite athleticism of the best receivers in the game, but he would make a fantastic complementary piece to an offense that already has one.
Still, as of this writing, Gallup’s worth has not decreased in the eyes of prognosticators; Spotrac.com estimated the former third-round pick’s market value at $11.8 million annually, or roughly $47.48 million over four years.
Gallup, 26 (in March), earned $2.4 million in 2021, the final season of his $4.3 million rookie contract. He counted just $2.6 million against Dallas’ salary cap, a figure that would balloon as part of a short-term pact.
Follow the Heavy on Cowboys Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Schultz Could Break the Bank
Elsewhere on the Cowboys’ offense, there will be no shortage of suitors for pending free-agent tight end Dalton Schultz, who finished the regular season with a career-best 78 catches and led the club in receiving yards (89) amid its playoff loss to San Francisco.
For those reasons, The Athletic predicted that Schultz will come close to resetting the TE market, if not outright doing so, making his return to the cap-strapped Cowboys unlikely.
“He ranks seventh among all tight ends with 1,423 receiving yards over the past two seasons, and his 12 touchdowns are tied for sixth-most,” Kapadia wrote on February 7. “Schultz is young and has not missed a game during the past three seasons. Schultz lined up as an in-line tight end on roughly 59% of his offensive snaps last season and can get it done as a blocker. Austin Hooper signed for $10.5 million two years ago. Henry and Smith got $12.5 million last offseason. That could be the salary range for Schultz.”