The Dallas Cowboys are planning to release Amari Cooper, parting ways with the four-time Pro Bowl receiver amid a crap crunch that leaves the team in a desperate spot.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Friday that Dallas is likely to release Cooper by March 16, a move to avoid his $20 million salary to become fully guaranteed on March 20. Releasing him before June 1 frees up $16 million in cap space, per OverTheCap.com.
- Amari Cooper stats (2021): 68 receptions, 865 receiving yards, 12.7 ypc, 8 touchdowns
Dallas deciding to part ways with one of Dak Prescott‘s go-to targets isn’t a surprise. Currently $13 million over the 2022 salary cap, the Cowboys need room to re-sign Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz.
Cooper faced increasing uncertainty in February with more reports indicating he played his final season for the Cowboys. While it’s not an easy decision for the organization, it’s been viewed as a possibility for nearly a year.
The organization had reservations about him before the 2021 season, with his injury history causing frustration. All of that came before Cooper, who is unvaccinated, missed two games after testing positive for COVID-19.
Assuming he is released, any team that signs Cooper won’t be hurt by the NFL’s draft-pick compensation formula because Cooper was cut rather than having his contract expire.