Proposed Blockbuster Trade Swaps Cowboys Playmaker for $19 Million Star

Michael Gallup

Getty Michael Gallup (left) is looking for a bounce back season in 2023.

The Dallas Cowboys have had a quiet start to NFL free agency despite plenty of rumors, but there are a number of available playmakers including Arizona Cardinals star receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay suggested an intriguing blockbuster trade idea that has the Cowboys swapping wideout Michael Gallup and their second-round pick (No. 58) in exchange for Hopkins.

“Shipping off the wideout to a team desperate to upgrade the wideout position—such as the Dallas Cowboys—in exchange for No. 58 overall and Michael Gallup would allow the Cardinals to acquire valuable draft capital and a younger talent to replace Hopkins with,” Kay wrote on March 13, 2023.

Gallup underwhelmed after signing a five-year, $57.5 million contract with Dallas last offseason. The veteran notched 39 receptions in 424 yards and four touchdowns during 14 appearances in 2022.

Do the Cowboys Want to Move on From Michael Gallup?

Despite Gallup’s struggles, the Cowboys appear optimistic that the receiver can bounce back with a full year under his belt since sustaining a season-ending ACL injury that required offseason surgery in 2022. Gallup has a team-friendly $2.2 million salary in 2023 that comes with a $6.8 million cap hit, per Spotrac.

The Cowboys just announced the team has restructured Gallup’s deal, a likely sign that the wideout is not going anywhere this offseason. Dallas has an out in Gallup’s deal during the 2024 offseason that would allow the team to move on from the receiver, but the Cowboys would take a $13 million dead cap hit by releasing the playmaker.

The Cardinals Are Seeking ‘Hefty Compensation’ in a Trade for DeAndre Hopkins, Says Insider

The Cowboys continue to be linked to Hopkins as the Cardinals explore trade opportunities for the five-time Pro Bowl receiver. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that Arizona is seeking “hefty compensation” from the Cardinals for the wideout.

“The belief from teams I’ve spoken to is the Cardinals want hefty compensation for WR DeAndre Hopkins (a premium Day 2 pick and more),” Fowler detailed on March 12. “His age (30) and last year’s suspension are issues for some teams, but a new team would be getting a premier receiver who, I’m told, is highly motivated to reaffirm his spot among the best. And his deal is fairly manageable, with $34.4 million over two years that can be restructured to save nearly $10 million in cap space this year.”

DeAndre Hopkins Has a 2-Year, $54 Million Contract

According to PHNX Cardinals Podcast’s Johnny Venerable, the Cowboys are “monitoring the trade market” for Hopkins. The star receiver’s two-year, $54.5 million contract runs through the 2024 season.

Hopkins is slated to have a $19.4 million salary in 2023 but the number drops to $14.9 million the following season. Dallas could also look to restructure Hopkins’ deal as part of a trade with the Cardinals. NBC Sports’ Matthew Berry reported that Dallas is looking to make a “splash” this offseason by upgrading their offense.

“What that splash means remains to be seen, whether it’s trading up (or for) a big-name player, a splashy signing in free agency or what, but they definitely want a big headliner,” Berry wrote on March 6. “I threw out to my source ‘What about DeAndre Hopkins?’ And my source said ‘Yeah, something like that.’ Again, it was my first thought, not my source’s and he didn’t bite beyond basically agreeing that would be a big splash, so I’m not even saying that’s a rumor. But I thought it was interesting.”