Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys may have just provided the Kansas City Chiefs with an assist in the wide receiver market.
The big news on Sunday morning (March 19) was an all-Texas trade that sent Houston Texans veteran WR Brandin Cooks to Dallas for a 2023 fifth and a 2024 sixth — per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Following the deal, New York Jets beat reporter Rich Cimini noted that “this seemingly removes the Cowboys from the Odell Beckham sweepstakes.”
Similar to the Jets, the Chiefs have maintained interest in Beckham throughout the offseason with a clear need at wide receiver after the JuJu Smith-Schuster departure. Dallas’ decision to walk away with Cooks at a bargain rate could drive down prices for Kansas City in their pursuits of “OBJ,” or a top trade target at the position like DeAndre Hopkins or Mike Evans.
Asking Price for Odell Beckham Could Be Lower Than Expected
Beckham made headlines on March 18, tweeting about his supposed contract demands.
The superstar WR refuted reports that he was looking for $20 million on the open market, stating: “I’m just so confused where the quote is from me [that] said I want 20…..😭🙄all I’m sayin is 4 AINT enough.”
According to Heavy on Chiefs reporter Devon Clements, “the ‘20’ Beckham is referring to is the report from Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio on March 11 that stated Beckham is still looking for a contract that fetches him $20 million per season. The ‘4’ that Beckham is referring to is, according to him, $4 million per season not being enough to claim his services.”
OBJ is likely hoping to meet somewhere in the middle of that $5-19 million range per season, at a destination that feels like home for the next three to four years. Along with the Jets and Chiefs, the Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants and New England Patriots have previously been linked to Beckham in free agency.
DeAndre Hopkins & Mike Evans Entice Chiefs Fans via Trade
Of course, the more appealing options at wide receiver could be available via trade. After all, Beckham is coming off two torn ACLs, and big-name weapons like Hopkins and Evans find themselves on rebuilding rosters.
Ahead of free agency, Arrowhead Addict posed this question on Twitter, pondering: “There’s a debate going on about whether the Chiefs should trade for an aging star WR like DeAndre Hopkins or Mike Evans or stick with the youth movement. What say you?”
The responses were mixed, and the tweet ended up with just under 500 likes and nearly 260,000 views.
Much of this debate will come down to price tag. No fan would turn away a talent like Hopkins or Evans if the trade return and contract are affordable. The Cowboys spent next to nothing on Cooks, although he’s certainly a step down from these two.
On March 17, Sports Illustrated NFL insider Albert Breer revealed that the Arizona Cardinals are asking for something similar to what the Texans got for Hopkins back in 2019 — a second-rounder plus “something else of value.”
After the Cooks deal, however, ESPN’s Field Yates implied that the Cowboys trade hurts the Cardinals market on Hopkins. “The Brandin Cooks trade is an interesting data point for a potential DeAndre Hopkins trade,” Yates voiced. “Cooks, 29, was due $32M on his contract through 2024 and fetched a 2023 5th and 2024 6th. Hopkins, 30, is due $34.365M on his contract through 2024. Hopkins is the superior player, to be clear; we’ll see if a trade package is vastly different.”
Pro Football Focus analyst Brad Spielberger concurred, tweeting: “Different players and situations, but this certainly shouldn’t help the Arizona Cardinals get a great haul for DeAndre Hopkins I think beyond the production/contract, there’s also just a clear lack of leverage for Arizona (as there was for Houston).”
Hopkins contract is considered manageable for a player of his caliber, at a $19.45 million base salary in 2023 and just $14.915 million in 2024.
Evans, on the other hand, is on the final year of his contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He’s due a base salary of $13 million according to Over the Cap, plus bonuses. The 30-year-old would likely act as a one-year rental, assuming he’s not extended upon acquisition.