FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys are in advanced discussions with the Browns on a trade that would send four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper to Cleveland.
Multiple reports Saturday say the Cowboys are expected to trade Cooper and a sixth-round draft pick to the Browns for a fifth-round pick and Cleveland's sixth-rounder. Nothing has been finalized yet, however, and a trade might not be completed until the start of the new league year Wednesday.
Cooper's $20 million base salary for 2022 is guaranteed if he's on the Cowboys' roster by the fifth day of the new league year (March 20). Speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine two weeks ago, Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said it was "too early" to address Cooper's status for 2022.
"We're continuing to have conversations," Jones said. "A lot of things affect that. we've obviously been so fortunate to have those three great receivers on our roster. Obviously, that's hard to keep doing under a salary cap."
Jones was referring to the starting trio of Cooper, Gallup and CeeDee Lamb, who will enter the third year of his rookie contract in 2022. Gallup and Cedrick Wilson, a standout No. 4 receiver the past two years, have expiring rookie deals.
The Cowboys reportedly have had discussions with Gallup about an extension and would like to re-sign Wilson as well. Even so, the wide receiver corps would look different without Cooper, who's been the offense's No. 1 receiver since the Cowboys traded a first-round pick to the Raiders for him in the middle of the 2018 season.
Cooper has made two Pro Bowls with the Cowboys (2018, 2019) and had a 93-catch season in 2020. He caught 27 touchdown passes over three and a half seasons with Dallas, including 8 in 2021.
But salary cap space has been tight this offseason, and trading Cooper would create $16 million in room before the start of free agency next week.
It also would mean Lamb, the Cowboys' first-round pick in 2020, would move into the No. 1 receiver role after making his first Pro Bowl last season with a team-high 79 catches for 1,102 yards and 6 touchdowns.