With rumors swirling that the Dallas Cowboys might be on the verge of releasing star wide receiver Amari Cooper, the Jets absolutely have to be aggressive in their pursuit of the multi-time Pro Bowler.
Cooper is set to enter the third year of a massive five-year, $100 million contract he signed with the Cowboys a few offseasons ago. But given Dallas' tight cap situation, they're essentially left with no choice but to let him go.
The 27-year-old is due a cap hit of $22 million in 2022, but the Cowboys could save $16 million by releasing him. It's a move they're almost forced to make. And the rest of the NFL could serve to benefit.
The NY Jets must make a serious attempt to acquire Amari Cooper
There's no question that Cooper is a very good player. The former first-round pick has amassed over 1,000 yards in five of his seven NFL seasons to date, and although he's coming off a down year, it's clear that he's still an excellent receiver.
Is he worth $20 million per year? Probably not — and especially not in a Cowboys offense that featured so many other talented playmakers.
But Cooper has a proven track record of success, is still young at just 27-years-old, and has been mostly durable throughout his career missing just five games in seven years.
That's the type of player you pay a premium for on the open market, especially when you have a ton of cap space and a young quarterback on a rookie contract. It's a no-brainer.
The Jets are in the market for a true No. 1 wide receiver this offseason. The additions of Elijah Moore and Corey Davis are a start, but adding Cooper to that group would give the Jets the best wide receiver trio they've had in years.
And, more importantly, it would further the team's goal of surrounding Zach Wilson with talented playmakers. It would eliminate that variable and allow the Jets to properly evaluate their young QB.
General manager Joe Douglas has done a nice job laying the foundation of the roster, but it hasn't led to results on the field. That needs to change with Douglas entering his third full offseason with the organization.
Teams can build through the draft all they want, but oftentimes that needs to be supplemented with external additions as well. The Jets need to strike while the iron is hot. They need to make a serious attempt to sign, or even trade for, Cooper.
Now, there are other factors at play here, of course. Actually convincing Cooper to sign with the Jets, assuming he's released, is an obstacle the team would need to overcome. Money talks, but it isn't everything.
That's why the Jets could even consider sending a Day 3 pick to the Cowboys in exchange for Cooper to ensure that they get a deal done. The downside would be that they'd be on the hook for his massive salary, although a future restructure wouldn't be out of the question.
The Jets have options when it comes to Amari Cooper. But one thing is for certain — they need to be audacious this offseason. They need to capitalize on opportunities when they arise.
This is a golden opportunity that they can't just ignore. Amari Cooper should be a top priority for the Jets.