It’s no secret the Detroit Lions are in the market to make a splash at the receiver position. General manager Brad Holmes needs to target someone who can help them now and down the road when the organization is finally ready to make a playoff push.
"“The agent for one of the top pending free agent receivers said the Lions indicated in a meeting last week they value his receiver in the same financial ballpark he expects his player to fetch in free agency, and multiple other sources view the Lions as legitimate contenders to sign one of the position’s premier free agents.”"
Some of the prominent names that first come to mind are Davante Adams, Chris Godwin, Mike Williams, and Allen Robinson. By the sounds of it, the first three mentioned are expected to be franchise tagged by their respected clubs ahead of Tuesday’s deadline.
That leaves Detroit native Allen Robinson as a potential target, along with the likes of DJ Chark and possible Amari Cooper if the Dallas Cowboys complete the transaction reported from ESPN insider Adam Schefter a week ago.
The Detroit Lions should sign Amari Cooper if the Dallas Cowboys release him.
The Lions are in dire need of a top pass-catcher, and although Cooper may not be a top-five or even ten receiver, he still has the makings of being a number one receiver. Cooper is the model of consistency and is just 27-year old. I’d rank him somewhere around15th best at his position in the league.
As Schefter notes, Cooper is due $20 million in guaranteed money on March 20th, and that’s just too much for a 1,200 yard, eight-touchdown receiver, especially when you consider that the franchise tag number is $18.4 million in 2022.
On the open market, I’d predict Cooper’s cap figure to come in around $16 million per season on a multi-year contract.
The Cowboys had a decision to make regarding pending free agent Michael Gallup, who just turned 26-years old. By releasing Cooper, Dallas will be able to sign Gallup to a long-term extension at a much cheaper rate than what they’d be forced to pay Cooper and allocate some of the savings elsewhere.
Cooper, the former Alabama Crimson Tide pass-catcher, is a four-time Pro Bowler who has amassed 7,076 yards to go with 46 touchdowns on 517 receptions over seven NFL seasons between Oakland and Dallas. Cooper is coming off of a down year which saw him produce 865 yards and eight scores, making just 68 receptions but don’t forget, the Cowboys’ offense had a lot of mouths to feed. Cooper has the potential to quickly rebound, working as the clear first option.
Earlier in the offseason, current Lions’ receiver coach Antwaan Randle El expressed his desire for the organization to sign a proven pass-catcher in free agency, along with drafting a pair of rookie playmakers to help bolster the position.
If I were Randle El, I’d be banging the table for Cooper if he is released, and my second option would be Robinson or Chark in hopes of re-tooling this group ahead of the 2022 regular season.