4 landing spots for WR Amari Cooper if Cowboys cut him

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 08: Amari Cooper #19 of the Dallas Cowboys runs with the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on January 8, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 08: Amari Cooper #19 of the Dallas Cowboys runs with the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on January 8, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Cowboys, Allen Robinson
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JANUARY 09: Allen Robinson #12 of the Chicago Bears heads to the locker room before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on January 9, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys have 23 players set to hit free agency in March. But with a man like Jerry Jones as your owner and yet another frustrating end to the season in the books, anything can happen.

There are now talks that the Cowboys should consider cutting wide receiver Amari Cooper (who is NOT a free agent). After what happened in the Wild Card Game against the San Francisco 49ers, everyone is looking for someone to point their finger at. And Cooper has been one of those names.

The two-time Pro Bowler had one of his worst seasons as a pro. Some blame that on the Cowboys not targeting him, but the receiver also had his fair share of drops. His stats were lower this year than 2020 in every single category. He caught just 68 passes this season and seemed to be absent from the offense in several games. Tight end Dalton Schultz had more receptions than Cooper.

Cooper was targeted five or fewer times in seven out of his 15 games played in 2021. Cooper even spoke out about his lack of usage when talking to the media this year.

Would this cut be Jones teaching him a lesson? Is it to help their serious cap space troubles? Who knows. But if the front office really does decide to cut him, there are many teams who would love to give the young receiver a chance for a do-over with their team.

Remember that Dallas is currently struggling with their cap space. Key players like Michael Gallup and Randy Gregory are going to be getting much bigger paychecks and Jones will need to make a lot of changes to keep big names on his roster. Is cutting Cooper one of them?

In March of 2020, the receiver signed a five-year, $100 million contract. Cooper is set to earn $20 million next year (his base salary) with a $2 million roster bonus. Those numbers give him the biggest base salary among all receivers in the NFL. The money simply didn’t match the production.

According to Spotrac, $6 million of the $22 million Cooper is supposed to earn for 2022 goes to dead cap space. That means that although the Cowboys would have to allot Cooper $6 million for nothing, they would be able to save $16 million in cap space if they cut him before March 20. This could actually be an integral move in saving money for other players – especially with the wide receiver depth Dallas has.

In short, if the Cowboys cut Cooper before March 20, they save $16 million. If they cut Cooper after March 20, they owe him all $22 million.

This would be quite a bold choice from Jones, but it would be far from surprising. It seems as though the Cowboys are going to keep evaluating him and make a decision in the near future. If he chooses to get rid of Cooper, where could he end up?

4 potential landing spots for Cowboys WR Amari Cooper

4. Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields did not have an easy go of it this year. With his available receivers often hurt, it was hard for the young player to prove his worth this season.  Right now, the Bears only have one wide receiver under contract for the 2022 campaign: Darnell Mooney. He can’t do it alone.

Mooney is a young player who showed promise this season and can continue to grow with the organization. Damiere Byrd had only one touchdown and 329 yards in 17 games. The last piece to their starting wide receiver corps is Allen Robinson.

Robinson only played in 11 games this year due to COVID and a hamstring injury. The 28-year-old played on the franchise tag earning himself a massive one-year, $17 million contract. Like with Cooper, Robinson turned out not to be worth the money. He finished with only 38 catches for 410 yards and a single touchdown.

Although Robinson didn’t have a great season, he has shown his clear potential in years past. But there have been rumors swirling that since he is now a free agent, Robinson may not be back with the Bears.


The Bears’ biggest hope for keeping Robinson is that the team got rid of head coach Matt Nagy. Robinson said he didn’t talk to the coach for several months during the season. Not a good sign. Because he proved his worth in 2020, Robinson will likely sign a contract that gets him about $15 million annually.

If Robinson is ready to part ways with Chicago, Cooper is a great option. Cooper could bring fresh blood to Justin Fields and help the Bears have a turnaround year. With a new coach and a new GM, Chicago will look to make a blockbuster signing to help revamp their team. If they don’t want to spend big bucks on names like Davante Adams and Chris Godwin, Cooper is a solid target, if available.