Proposed Trade Sees Cowboys Dealing Amari Cooper to AFC Contender

Amari Cooper

Getty Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper may be on the way out.

The Dallas Cowboys could be looking at possible blockbuster deal involving Amari Cooper.

The 27-year-old wide receiver may be looking at his final days as a member of the Cowboys. The four-time Pro Bowler remains one of the most highly-compensated players in the game. In fact, Cooper’s $20 million base salary with $2 million roster bonus is the highest among all receivers.

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However, his production isn’t coming close to matching his contract. While Cooper remains productive, he has taken a clear backseat to second-year receiver CeeDee Lamb in the pecking order. Lamb caught a team-leading 79 passes on 120 targets for 1,102 yards on a 65.8% catch rate. On the other hand, Cooper caught just 68 passes on 104 targets for 865 yards on a 65.4% catch rate.

With three years and $60 remaining on his deal, Cooper could be a realistic trade option this offseason. According to Bleacher Report’s Michelle Bruton, the Cowboys could deal Cooper to the Kansas City Chiefs for a first-round draft pick in a possible blockbuster scenario.

“The Kansas City Chiefs are smack dab in the middle of the league when it comes to the salary cap,” says Bruton. “They have just under $23 million to play with presently. But this offseason, Kansas City will likely gain much more cap space. For instance, they have an out on Frank Clark’s contract, which carries a $26.3 cap hit in 2022.

Last offseason, the Chiefs were pushing to add a wide receiver in free agency. They missed out on JuJu Smith-Schuster, Trent Williams and Josh Reynolds. In 2021, Patrick Mahomes clearly made do with Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Mecole Hardman and Byron Pringle. But if the Chiefs are still looking for help, this offseason presents a few chances.”

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Dealing Cooper Helps Cowboys’ Salary Cap

Bruton explains why trading their second-best receiver to a fellow Super Bowl contender would peak the Cowboys’ interest. It’s simple — trading Cooper after June 1 leaves the team with just $2 million in dead cap money. At the same time, they clear up the remaining $20 million in cap space.

“After the Dallas Cowboys’ wild playoff exit to the Las Vegas Raiders, trade rumors surrounding Amari Cooper have started heating up,” says Bruton. “Those close to the team have suggested he’ll be on the move this offseason.

But the move would make sense. Cooper’s 68 receptions for 865 receiving yards in 15 games was his lowest production since 2017. On the other hand, his eight touchdowns this season tie a career high. Cooper’s salary will hit next year’s cap to the tune of $22 million, but the Cowboys could clear $20 million of space and be left with just $2 million in dead cap by trading Cooper after June 1.”

Cooper Trade Makes Too Much Sense

The Cowboys are currently $21.3 million over the cap for the 2022 season, meaning they have to make some moves. Cooper’s cap hit is the third-largest on the team, behind Dak Prescott and DeMarcus Lawrence. Prescott isn’t going anywhere and trading/releasing Lawrence would result in a larger cap hit than doing the same with Cooper.

The Chiefs are a bonafide Super Bowl threat without Cooper. But adding the dynamic receiver will only alleviate the pressure off of Travis Kelce as the short-yardage and intermediate threat. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Cooper will also play well off of the much smaller and more speedy Tyreek Hill.

The idea may not immediately improve the Cowboys’ chances at a Super Bowl. But the move will clear up cap space and net them a very valuable first-round draft pick in return.

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4 months ago

Cooper has 6M dead money.. IF is traded after 6-1 he will 2M dead money in 2022 but he will also have 4m in 2023. (That’s the idea of after 6-1, splitting it with 2 seasons). Teams know the Cowboy’s want out of his contract, they will wait for him to get cut. For the same reasons the Dallas is willing to part with him, will be the same reasons no one will trade for him.. He is not worth 20M a year, then want a draft pick also.. A team can sign a free agent for less, not give up anything… His salary becomes guaranteed (injury) after 5th day of league and the Cowboys are over the cap. They will probably cut him, eat the 6M dead and save 16M off the cap.. Move on…

Darrell Smith
Darrell Smith
4 months ago

Well Dak needs to grow up, remember his rookie season. He always had Dez and Witten wanting the ball. End of year both gone. Now Cooper, played hurt, anyone else wouldn’t have played. Once you get on Dak’s bad side. Your not going to get many passes. We have a great WR that we’re going to loose. Jones needs to stop babying his QB and lay it out. Dallas is close, but not there yet. Loosing a great player because Dak’s can’t handle the pressure. He needs to look in the mirror ant take some of the game. He choked and it wasn’t the coverage, guys were open. Dak grow up!!

Joe Crowder
Joe Crowder
4 months ago

I would have sworn we lost to the Niners in the wildcard playoffs instead of the Raiders……maybe I read it wrong. It was obvious Cooper was going when he missed 2 weeks due to Covid because he didn’t get vaccinated. You could tell by Jerry’s voice when he was on 105.3 The Fan.

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