Cowboys ‘Likely’ to Make Brutal Decision on Ex-Raiders 1st-Rounder: Report

amari cooper

Getty Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper.

It wasn’t long ago that Amari Cooper became one of the highest-paid wide receivers in the NFL. In fact, it was only two years ago when the Dallas Cowboys handed him a contract that paid him $20 million a year. It appears that the team already has buyer’s remorse. 2021 was Cooper’s worst season with the team since they traded a first-round pick to the Las Vegas Raiders to land him.

He only managed 865 receiving yards and it’s clear that CeeDee Lamb will be the Cowboys’ No. 1 wide receiver of the future. With Cooper set to make another $20 million in 2022, Dallas is going to either trade him or cut him outright, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

As Schefter noted, the Cowboys aren’t likely to find a trade partner for Cooper. He’s a good wide receiver but he’s likely overpaid compared to his counterparts. He’ll certainly land on his feet for a new team and get a decent contract but it won’t be close to the $20 million a year Dallas was paying him.

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Nobody Won the Cooper Trade

When the Raiders first traded Cooper to the Cowboys in 2018, there was a lot of debate about who won the trade. The former No. 4 overall pick started off strong with the Raiders but his production took a nosedive before the trade. The team received a first-round pick from Dallas and used it to draft safety Johnathan Abram.

In three seasons, Abram has missed 21 games due to injury and has been one of the worst safeties in pass coverage in the NFL when he’s on the field. Perhaps he can still develop into a dependable player but it’s more likely that the Raiders decline his fifth-year option this offseason and let him test free agency in 2023. The Cowboys did get a few very good years out of Cooper so it could be argued they won the trade but the Raiders would likely make the trade again if they were given the chance.

Should Raiders Consider Bringing Cooper Back?

As fate would have it, the Raiders are in need of a No. 1 wide receiver this offseason. Though he lacks consistency, Cooper has proven that he can be a No. 1 wide receiver. His first two years with Derek Carr were very fruitful and he made the Pro Bowl twice. Now that Josh McDaniels is the head coach, perhaps he could be more consistently productive.

However, it’s hard to see this happening. Cooper wasn’t shy about his relief to leave the Raiders in 2018. That could’ve been more of a Jon Gruden issue than a Raiders issue but he likely burned that bridge. McDaniels and company would likely hope to bring in a wide receiver who is more consistent week to week. Cooper will have a 200-yard receiving game one week only to follow it up with a dud. There’s at least one team out there that will pay Cooper but that’s not likely to be the Raiders.

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