There’s been a lot of discussion of Dallas Cowboys‘ receiver Amari Cooper over the past week. That started with a March 4 report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the team was “likely” to release Cooper ahead of March 20, when his $20 million salary for next season became fully guaranteed. Many theorized that that release information was leaked to Schefter to get teams interested in trading for Cooper, but that interest seemed limited at first (even if there were plenty of teams that could use him, many seemed to be waiting for him to be cut). On Saturday, though, that trade came to pass, with the Cleveland Browns sending the Cowboys a fifth-round pick (and swapping sixth-round picks) in exchange for Cooper:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 12, 2022
Cowboys are finalizing a trade to send WR Amari Cooper and a sixth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for a 2022 fifth-round pick and a sixth-round pick, per league sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2022
It’s interesting to see the Cowboys moving on from Cooper, a 27-year-old receiver who’s had quite a lot of NFL success to date. Cooper was selected fourth overall in the 2015 NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders and posted more than 1,000 yards in both of his first two seasons there. But he only recorded 680 receiving yards in 14 games in 2017 and then 280 in six games with Oakland before a trade to Dallas in 2018; he shone once with the Cowboys that year, though, recording 725 yards in nine games. He then had 1,000-plus yard seasons in both 2019 and 2020, and while his 865 yards this season were a step back, he still posted the team’s second-highest receiving total, behind only CeeDee Lamb.
It’s unclear exactly why Dallas is shipping Cooper out. This will save them some money, certainly, but it leaves their receiving corps looking a lot weaker. There has been speculation that Cooper’s decision not to get a COVID-19 vaccination may have played a role here, but that’s far from confirmed. At any rate, the Browns now have a new potential star receiver; we’ll see if that relationship goes better than the one they had with their last star receiver.