Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper is expected to be released in the coming days. The Cowboys acquired the star wideout in 2018 from the Las Vegas Raiders in exchange for a first-round pick. They then signed Cooper to a five-year $100 million extension, making him one of the highest-paid wide receivers ever. Fast forward four years, and the Cowboys are ready to move on from him.
Cooper has been a productive wide receiver in his time with Dallas, but the move is strictly about them getting under the cap. Upon Cooper's release, Dallas would take on $8 million in dead cap space, but the move would bring the Cowboys closer to under the cap for this season.
Cooper currently accounts for a $20 million cap hit this season on his current contract, while Dallas is $21 million over the cap number. Cooper's release would save Dallas $16 million in cap space for this upcoming season.
The former first-round pick out of Alabama is expected to be a player in demand. According to Jordan Schultz, the Patriots and the Dolphins are interested in signing Cooper.
Cooper will be the clear-cut No. 1 receiver in New England and can help out in the deep game for Mac Jones. He would also be the number one receiver in Miami and would give second-year receiver Jaylen Waddle more opportunities in single-coverage.
Amari Cooper's release will pave the way for a contract extension for Michael Gallup
Once Amari Cooper is released, the Cowboys are expected to focus entirely on working on a long-term deal with free-agent wide receiver Michael Gallup. The Cowboys drafted Gallup in the third round of the 2018 NFL draft out of Colorado State. In his four seasons in the league, Gallup has played in two full seasons, only going for over 1,000 yards in a single season once.
Most of the $16 million that Dallas will save by releasing Cooper will go to Gallup, as they're reportedly set to offer him a deal that's worth more than $10 million a year. This should excite Gallup. He is coming off a year where he tore his ACL and is expected to have a bigger role with the reported payday and Cooper's departure. Dallas is known for spending big on their leading players (Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, DeMarcus Lawrence, Amari Cooper), but it's come back to haunt them as they face cap hell down the road.