Since being traded by the Dallas Cowboys in 2018, Amari Cooper has performed his duties, filling the role as number one receiver on the field. He also made the Pro Bowl twice. However, huge contracts can come with high expectations. At least one source has suggested that Cooper could be in for a big season in 2021.
Shan Shariff, Shan & RJ’s morning show host on 105.3 The FAN said that Cooper was “on notice” for this season. He stated that he has heard “whispers”, that Amari’s lack of competitive drive and injury issues have frustrated the team.
Cooper is among a few players to start this year’s training camp as a Physically Unable To Perform player, along with Trysten Hill and DeMarcus Lawrence. Cooper is still recovering from an offseason ankle operation.
Shan explains that there are logical factors that could lead Cooper to be released. Dallas will be able to continue CeeDee Lamb’s rookie contract for two more years, with a fifth-year option in 2024. There is also the possibility of resigning Michael Gallup at an even lower price than Amari.
Cooper currently ranks 4th in the most expensive WR in football with a total salary of $20m. Cooper is expected to contribute $22 million towards Dallas’ salary cap over the next four seasons.
The Cowboys may consider cutting Amari in 2021, it’s not speculative. Cooper’s dead money will fall to $6 million next year. That would be $16 million worth of cap relief for Dallas if they were to trade or release him.
It’s worth noting, however, that the majority, if not all of the money, would go to Gallup for its second contract if Cooper is being discarded. Dallas might decide that it’s better to spend the money on Michael, who is two years older than Amari and has a strong chemistry with Dak Prescott.
This is not a case where a player is underperforming their contract. Cooper has rushed for over 1,100 yards in Dallas and has not missed a single game the past two seasons. Despite the criticisms of his personality, Cooper has been a great franchise wide receiver.
This is a huge problem for the Cowboys. The luxury of not having one great player and keeping one that you like a lot. Those “whispers” Shan spoke of this morning might not be very real.
However, it’s possible that Amari Cooper might be in serious trouble after this season. Cooper will be a cap casualty under one of the most lucrative contracts on the roster, and that’s always cause for concern.
His play in 2021 will make him indispensable, we hope.