Would Cowboys Trade Amari Cooper to Packers?

Mike Fisher

FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys can use all the “brain-storing” and “spit-balling” at their disposal. Trade Everson Griffen to Detroit? Done. Dis-invite Dontari Poe and Daryl Worley from Wednesday’s practice as they head though the exits here at The Star? Done.

Trade Pro Bowl receiver Amari Cooper to the Green Bay Packers? This one is due some dissection.

The idea hits print via ProFootballTalk.com, and again all ideas for this 2-5 franchise that owner Jerry Jones says is making “personnel changes” are welcome.

So, let’s dissect. ...

*PFT writes that Dallas is in “fire-sale mode,” That’s incorrect; the three aforementioned guys are destined to be ex-Cowboys because they don’t fit here, not because the Jones family is bailing on the season.

READ MORE: BREAKING: Cowboys Trades Begin With Griffen to Lions

READ MORE: If No Trade, Cowboys Will Cut Two More Veterans

READ MORE: Cowboys Practice Update: Two Starters Back, Two Exiting Vets Absent

*PFT suggests that Cooper now represents a sort of luxury given the team’s recent drafting of Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb. They are correct here, reiterating a point that we have made often. (PFT cites Cedrick Wilson’s “pretty dam good” ability to replace Cooper as another reason; that’s a stretch.)

*PFT correctly notes, as we did at the time of Cooper‘s off-season signing, that even though Cooper signed a five-year, $100 million contract, it’s really a two-year, $40 million deal - escapable after two seasons.

It is NOT, however, especially escapable NOW. 

The hard numbers: Trading Cooper this week would mean $6,117,647 dead money in 2020 and a $5,882,353 savings. Not problematic.

But what does it do to the Dallas cap next year? Trading Cooper would leave $8 million in dead money - meaning the Cowboys would be “paying the cap” to the tune of $8 million while Cooper is (in the PFT example) catching passes from Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay.

The Cowboys don’t view that as a very viable way of spending their money.

*Now to Green Bay. Could they use a standout No. 2 receiver alongside Devante Adams. Sure. Can they spend $20 million per year to do so?

Via the invaluable Bill Huber, our man in Green Bay:

“The Packers were interested last offseason but couldn’t get close to competing with Dallas’ five-year, $100 million contract. 

Meanwhile, per to the NFLPA, the Packers have about $8 million of cap space. Cooper’s cap number for this season is $12 million; the economics don’t align. 

Moreover, with the salary cap expected to plunge in 2021, the Packers are only about $3.2 million under next year’s cap, according to OverTheCap.com’s projections. And that’s with 39 players on the roster – none of them being free agents-to-be David Bakhtiari, the team’s four-time All-Pro left tackle, running back Aaron Jones or cornerback Kevin King. 

Cooper’s cap number for 2021 is $22 million. Packers cap guru Russ Ball is really good at his job, but I don’t see how this is possible whatsoever.

In summary: let’s keep brain-storming and spit-balling; the Cowboys aren’t good enough not to. But then ... let’s make sure we ask the teams involved to help us with personnel thoughts and the Big Calculator to know when the brain-storming and spit-balling actually makes sense.

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