Washington floated as potential destination for this Cowboys WR
By Jerry Trotta
The Washington Football Team could welcome a lot of new faces to Landover by the start of OTAs and mandatory minicamp.
In a perfect world, Washington’s front office will add a new quarterback (duh) a middle linebacker, a replacement for Brandon Scherff, a slot cornerback and potentially a new safety if Bobby McCain tests free agency.
Those positions should be of the utmost priority. But what about wide receiver?
Are we just supposed to assume that Curtis Samuel gets another year to prove himself as a dependable sidekick for Terry McLaurin? Or will Washington look to make another splash if the opportunity presents itself?
For financial purposes, we’d much rather see Washington draft someone in the first or second round in April. However, Pro Football Network doesn’t see it that way. In fact, they think Washington could steal from a divisional rival.
In their latest article, PFN named Washington as a destination that would “make sense’ for Amari Cooper if he’s cut by the Dallas Cowboys.
Could Washington steal Amari Cooper from Dallas this offseason?
Before we get into the nitty gritty, let’s first explain why the Cowboys would even consider cutting Cooper this offseason.
For starters, he’s coming off his worst statistical season with the franchise. After averaging 85.5 catches for 1,151 yards in his first two years, Cooper posted 68 catches 856 yards and eight touchdowns in 2021.
Those numbers are nothing to sniff at and Cooper has never been a 100-catch receiver in his career, but the four-time Pro Bowler expressed frustration with his role in the offense towards the end of the season.
The second reason is his contract. During the 2020 offseason, Cooper signed a five-year, $100 million deal with Dallas. The first two years of his deal were front-loaded in dead cap ($40 mil in 2020 and $28 mil in 2021), leaving the star receiver with just a $6 million dead cap charge for next season.
With Cooper’s cap hit for 2022 set at $22 million ($20 million base salary, $2 million signing bonus), the Cowboys can save $16 million against the cap if they cut him before March 20. If they cut him after that date, that $22 million becomes fully guaranteed, so it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility.
If Cooper hits the open market, it’s easy to see why PFN thinks he could end up in Washington. The same offseason he signed with Dallas, it was reported he turned down more money from Washington.
No other team offered him a contract.
Could Washington revive their long-standing interest in the Alabama product? It honestly depends on how much money he commands. On his current contract, they couldn’t afford him with so many positions in need of upgrades.
Maybe something like a one- or two-year deal worth between $17-20 million annually could work. Signing McLaurin to an extension wouldn’t derail a potential pursuit of Cooper, either, as long as Washington sees to it that his cap hit for 2022 doesn’t skyrocket.
There are plenty of cap loopholes to make sure that wouldn’t happen.
Again, we’re not saying Washington should sign Cooper if he’s cut. We’re merely laying out scenarios that would make it come to life.
It sounds unlikely, but things will certainly get interesting if the Cowboys, who need to shed salary in a big way between now and the start of free agency to get under the cap, decide to cut the Alabama product.
Stay tuned, folks.