The first images of former Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper in his new Cleveland Browns uniform have surfaced, as the eight-year vet was seen on the Cleveland practice field Monday for the first time since being traded by Dallas on March 12. And he’s wearing a new jersey number.
Take a look:
The Cowboys acquired Cooper in October 2018 in a trade with the then-Oakland Raiders for a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The 27-year-old had inked a five-year contract extension with the Cowboys worth $100 million in March of 2020 and was certainly playing up to his elite-level expectations. But despite a bright future ahead, he admitted it came down to the professional side of things.
“It’s not like I disliked being in Dallas," Cooper said. "I actually loved being there. I wouldn’t say I just wanted to leave. But you know, at the same time, it’s never personal. It’s just business.”
The trade that sent Cooper, a four-time Pro-Bowler, to Cleveland raised numerous questions regarding the lack of awareness from Jerry and Stephen Jones about the shifting receiver market. The Cowboys gave up a 2022 fifth-round pick for Cooper, which seems like a low-ball deal on Dallas’ end considering the value other teams have gotten in recent receiver trades around the league.
The Arizona Cardinals traded a first-round pick on draft night in exchange for Ravens receiver Marquise Brown, a three-year receiver who just secured his first 1,000-yard campaign this past season. Later that night, the Tennessee Titans dealt Pro-Bowl receiver A.J Brown to the Eagles and got the No. 18 and No. 101 overall picks in the 2022 draft in return.
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Could the Cowboys have gotten better draft value out of the Cooper trade? Probably. Certainly, a four-time Pro-Bowler who is coming off a 68-catch, eight-touchdown season is worth more than a fifth-round pick.
But the Cowboys aren’t looking back. Instead, the focus is on what receivers CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup can do as the focal point of Dallas’ passing offense. Meanwhile, Cooper will keep things business as usual with his new QB Deshaun Watson.
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