Amari Cooper could potentially be traded at some point during the 2022 NFL offseason as a salary cap casualty for the Dallas Cowboys. He carries a cap hit of $22 million for the 2022 season, currently the second highest among all actively signed wide receivers. The Cowboys are more than $21 million over the salary cap right now, the third most in the NFL this year.
Trading Amari Cooper is one of the ways the Cowboys can start solving their salary cap problem during the offseason. The only issue is that it would change their wide receiver position from one of their biggest strengths to one of their biggest weaknesses, especially with Michael Gallup pending free agency as well.
Even if Michael Gallup remains with the Cowboys, trading Amari Cooper still creates an obvious need at wide receiver. The good news for Dallas is that the 2022 free agent class is loaded with talent at the position. They could potentially trade away Amari Cooper and replace him with a cheaper option in free agency, without sacrificing too much talent. Here are three potential options to do so.
3 free agent wide receivers the Cowboys could target to replace Amari Cooper
#1 - Allen Robinson II
Allen Robinson II is coming off the least productive season of his career, recording just 38 receptions for 410 yards and one touchdown. While that may normally be a red flag, he is still just 28 years old and the dip in production could work to the Cowboys' advantage, likely requiring less money to sign him than it would have last year. A team change could get Robinson back on track, especially in the Cowboys' high-powered offense.
#2 - JuJu Smith-Schuster
JuJu Smith-Schuster is still just 25 years old, making him one of the youngest free agent wide receivers in the 2022 class. He was injured for the majority of the 2021 season, so like Robinson, he could probably be signed at a relatively discounted price this year. In the 2020 season, he recorded 97 receptions for 831 yards and nine touchdowns while sharing targets with a deep wide receiver group. He is a high-upside option to replace Amari Cooper.
#3 - Mike Williams
Mike Williams is a massively framed wide receiver with excellent athleticism and dominant physical tools. He could potentially make for a good pairing of contrasting styles with CeeDee Lamb, who is more of a shifty route runner who creates separation with his quickness and creativity. Williams is a big-play threat and a red zone specialist, averaging more than 15 yards per reception over the last four years while scoring 26 touchdowns.