The Cowboys are on the verge of the unthinkable: Chopping Amari Cooper. All indicators are pointing to Dallas shifting on, with ESPN’s Adam Schefter expecting the release to come before the start of the league’s new year, as Cooper is due $20M shortly after.
Releasing Cooper will probably be an incredible instance of cap mismanagement. The Cowboys discover themselves $21M over the projected wage cap for 2022, with Cooper’s $22M cap hit primarily getting them underneath that quantity. The issue is much deeper than only one receiver, with Dallas committing $52.9M to 3 offensive linemen (Zack Martin, Tyron Smith and La’el Collins) with one other $27M going to defensive finish DeMarcus Lawrence.
The cherry on high is Ezekiel Elliott, who’s an $18.22M cap hit for the upcoming season. We’ve discussed the dangers of over-paying running backs, and the direct hyperlink between high-paid rushers and crew failure, and now the Cowboys are mired in it.
In consequence we have now an elite receiver who will now enter the free agent market. Cooper will probably be 28 when the 2022 season begins, nonetheless has a lot left within the tank, and the four-time Professional Bowler will probably be a scorching commodity when free company opens. So, who may (and may) look to signal Cooper if we work underneath the belief he will probably be a free agent.
No. 1: Inexperienced Bay Packers
That is the clearest, most blatant reply from a soccer perspective — nevertheless it feels extraordinarily unlikely due to the enterprise concerned.
If we assume Aaron Rodgers returns in 2022 (which isn’t a given at this level), then the window is within the strategy of slamming shut. Realistically the Packers have one, perhaps two extra years to really deliver a Lombardi Trophy again to Inexperienced Bay, and receiver has been a long-neglected place.
The precedence is clearly to re-sign Davante Adams, who is ready to turn into an unrestricted free agent. If that may occur, with Rodgers and several other extra veterans restructuring their contracts (a course of already underway) then including Cooper to the combination might be sufficient to get the Packers over the hump.
There’s loads of work to be carried out with the financials, nevertheless it’s doable — albeit unlikely.
No. 2: Kansas Metropolis Chiefs
I’m focusing totally on contenders right here, as a result of that’s the place it makes probably the most sense for each side. There’s little question Kansas Metropolis wants defensive assist greater than offensive weapons, nevertheless it’s a captivating risk.
Because it stands the Chiefs haven’t any scarcity of weapons between Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Mecole Hardman — however of the three you don’t actually have a real big-bodied broad receiver. Signing Cooper, whereas reforming the protection by way of the draft, may outcome within the offensive soar wanted to get again to the Tremendous Bowl.
It might be a signing that might unquestionably be a luxurious, however with some cap area to play with the Chiefs may do an entire lot worse. It additionally permits for a failsafe in case one in every of their present weapons is injured, or begins to regress.
No. 3: Baltimore Ravens
Any time there’s point out of a WR being obtainable, the Ravens are going to be within the dialog. There’s promise on the place with Rashod Bateman nonetheless growing and seeking to return from damage, however bridging that hole might be an ideal position for Amari Cooper.
It was a disappointing 12 months for the Ravens that began with a lot promise, going 5-2 previous to the bye week. Then Baltimore collapsed, discovering themselves in final place within the brutal AFC North.
Cooper would take strain off Marquise Brown to be the crew’s solo deep-threat receiver (once more, with the caveat Bateman will return), and will assist catapult the Baltimore offense into the twenty first century. For this to work it could require Cooper believing within the path of the crew to return to profitable kind, however there’s little question this might be one other good match.
No. 4: Jacksonville Jaguars
Let’s assume for a second that Amari Cooper isn’t that involved with profitable and he’d slightly get PAID. There’s nothing mistaken with that, and Cooper ought to safe the bag whereas ready — and no person is ready to present a bigger bag.
This can be a crew in dire want of getting Trevor Lawrence some assist so he can progress with out shedding confidence. His No. 1 goal in 2021 was 31-year-old Marvin Jones, and that’s not place to be in.
If we assume the Jags will handle Lawrence’s safety with the primary decide of the 2022 NFL Draft (and they need to) then the following precedence is getting receiving weapons. Jacksonville’s $56M free company battle chest might be used to signal just a few receivers, of whom Cooper can be a high precedence.
There is no such thing as a extra time for a sluggish, wise rebuild. Followers are fed up, and this must get shifting in the best path now. Signing Cooper would get them shifting, and perhaps even create some (measured) pleasure.