There's a growing belief that Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper will be released in the next few days, before the start of free agency. ESPN's Adam Schefter on Friday tweeted that they are likely to release Cooper before the beginning of the new league year, and the move would save Dallas $16 million in cap space for this upcoming season.
Dallas would take on $8 million in dead cap space, but the move would get the Cowboys close 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 Cowboys most likely couldn't find a trade partner, probably due to his current contract, so he would be able to sign with any time, as soon as he is released.
With Michael Gallup set to become a free agent, the expectation is that Dallas will retain him with some of the $16 million they'd be saving from releasing Cooper. CeeDee Lamb is expected to become the true number one receiver next year for Dallas upon Cooper's departure. This would also open up more opportunities for receiver Cedrick Wilson.
Amari Cooper's career with the Dallas Cowboys
Dallas acquired Amari Cooper in 2018 via trade from the Raiders. Dallas gave up a 2019 first-round pick and then gave him a five-year $100 million contract extension. Cooper recorded the most receiving yards in a single season in his career in his first year with Dallas. Cooper totaled 1,189 receiving yards while scoring eight touchdowns while being named a Pro Bowler.
In his time with Dallas, Cooper played in 56 games and had 292 receptions for 3,893 yards (69.5 YPG), 27 touchdowns, and was a two-time Pro Bowler.
Possible landing spots for Amari Cooper if/when released
If and when Cooper is released, he will easily become the second-best receiver on the market behind the Packers' Davante Adams. He won't have to wait until the start of free agency (March 14th), so he is free to sign with another team whenever he is released. The Jaguars and Jets are both in the top-five for cap space, and both need a true number one receiver. These two teams can pay Cooper up to $20 million per season, but Cooper likely won't get a contract that large.