Will the Dallas Cowboys release Amari Cooper?
The Dallas Cowboys are likely to release wide receiver Amari Cooper before the new league year begins, in a move that will cut costs for the team.
The Cowboys signed Cooper to a five-year, $100 million deal in 2020, and the extension made him one of the highest-paid receivers in the league. The team will try to trade him, but are leaning towards letting him go if they do not come to an agreement.
March 20 deadline
Dallas would then need to release him before March 20, the fifth day of the new league year, to avoid paying him his $20 million base salary in fully guaranteed money.
The Cowboys are projected to be more than $21 million over the salary cap, and cutting the four-time Pro Bowler would free up $16 million in cap space on top of getting out of paying him the $20 million.
The rise of receivers on the team such as 2020 first-round draft pick CeeDee Lamb, Cedric Wilson, and Michael Gallup who are deemed to be more affordable made the pricey Cooper the logical player to be released, in order for the team to get some leeway in cap space.
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Cooper: set to be one of the best available players
The veteran wide receiver was selected by then-Oakland Raiders in 2015 with the fourth overall pick, and was traded to the Cowboys halfway through the 2019 season.
He quickly delivered for the team’s passing offense, logging 53 receptions for 725 yards and six touchdowns in only nine games.
The 27-year-old's numbers dipped somewhat last season, ending with 68 receptions for 865 yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games.
Cooper is expected to have a lot of takers whenever Dallas releases him. He will be among the best players available, and will be eligible to sign a deal with a new franchise immediately if he is cut before the start of free agency.