On Friday, a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter revealed that the Dallas Cowboys are likely to move on from wide receiver Amari Cooper. The four-time Pro Bowl talent is due $20 million guaranteed on March 20th, but with the release, he would only count $6 million against the salary cap.
The Cowboys have a number of unsigned free agents this offseason, including defensive end Randy Gregory, tight end Dalton Schultz, and safety Jayron Kearse. The front office is also closing in on a multi-year extension with wide receiver Michael Gallup, who tore his ACL in January.
Here, we discuss the teams with the greatest odds to sign Cooper and his best potential fits. All odds provided by Bovada.
6. Jacksonville Jaguars (+900)
Cooper, a native of Miami, Florida, could pair well with second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars. This is a franchise with the third-most cap space in the league and doesn’t have much depth at the wide receiver position. Last season, Jacksonville’s wide receiving corpse was led by Marvin Jones Jr, who totaled 832 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Cooper has finished with 1,000+ receiving yards in five of the last seven seasons. The Jaguars offense needs support, as they finished 28th in the NFL last season in red zone scoring percentage.
5. Cleveland Browns (+900)
According to The Athletic, the Cleveland Browns are expected to provide their offense with additional weapons this offseason. The general report has the Browns listed as suitors for receivers such as Chris Godwin, Mike Williams and Allen Robinson as well, but Cooper may be the favorite of the bunch. With 68 catches for 865 yards and eight touchdowns last season, Cooper would easily become Cleveland’s most productive pass-catcher. In order to sign the 27-year old, the Browns may need to reconsider their future with Jarvis Landry, who is scheduled to make $16.4 million during the final season of his five-year, $75 million contract in 2022.
4. Detroit Lions (+750)
Detroit Lions Wide Receivers Coach Antwaan Randle El has already publicly expressed his desire for the team to add more depth to the position through the offseason. The 2022 NFL Draft is deep at wide receiver, but Cooper with the Lions would make him the most established receiver on the current roster. In 2021, rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown set the franchise rookie record in receiving yards, but outside of him, there were very few bright spots. The team has roughly $19.7 million in cap space, but potential cut candidates include running back Jamaal Williams, offensive guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai and defensive end Trey Flowers. By adding Cooper to the roster, Detroit could then address other voids in the early rounds of the draft.
3. New York Jets (+350)
According to ESPN’s Field Yates, if Amari Cooper is to hit the open market, the New York Jets will be one of multiple suitors. The report indicates the Jets are gathering their information regarding the situation rather than preparing to make an aggressive pursuit, however, matters could change rather quickly. With Cooper as part of the Jets offense, it provides more favorable matchups to young talents such as Corey Davis and Elijah Moore. New York is looking to upgrade at various positions through the NFL Draft such as EDGE rusher, cornerback and the offensive line, so signing a player of Cooper’s caliber would be invaluable.
2. New England Patriots (+250)
The New England Patriots have the second-best odds to land Amari Cooper, but I expect these odds to decrease over time. Cornerback J.C. Jackson is unlikely to sign a long-term deal with the Patriots, so opening the checkbook to add a wide receiver seems unlikely. Other teams have far more cap space than New England does, so unless the front office is willing to make difficult releases, Cooper will almost certainly sign elsewhere. In order to land in New England, a trade would need to occur in which the Patriots send the Dallas Cowboys a mid-round pick with the expectation that Cooper will restructure his current deal. If the Patriots did add Cooper to their depth chart, he would provide an upgrade from Jakobi Meyers, Nelson Agholor, and Kendrick Bourne.
1. Philadelphia Eagles (+140)
Could Cooper remain in the NFC East by signing with the rival Philadelphia Eagles? DeVonta Smith is coming off a strong rookie season, but I’d prefer to add Cooper than risk waiting on the upside of Quez Watkins. Philadelphia has $18.5 million in salary cap space, but a long-term deal could lower his cap hit in the 2022 season. The Eagles won games last season with a run-first approach behind Jalen Hurts, so the opportunity may not be appealing for someone of Cooper’s caliber. The team is likely to explore a less costly route, whether it’s through the draft or alternative free agency options.
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