The Cleveland Browns made a huge trade for Amari Cooper, which could help them land quarterback Deshaun Watson — if that’s their goal
On Saturday, the Cleveland Browns agreed to a trade for 4-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper from the Cowboys.
Ultimately, the trade makes sense for both organizations. Dallas is able to free up around $16 million in cap space and Cleveland is able to add a true No. 1 receiver to their arsenal of offensive weapons.
The Browns will be taking on the entirety of Cooper’s contract which includes a $20 million base salary (guaranteed on March 20), a $22 million cap hit, and only $4 million in dead cap next year. At worst for the Browns, Cooper gets released next offseason and was only in Cleveland for one season but it was certainly worth a shot for the Browns.
In Cooper’s 2020 campaign with Dallas, he caught 92 passes for 1,114 yards and 5 touchdowns. Then in 2021 for the Cowboys, he reeled in 68 catches for 865 yards and 8 touchdowns.
The trade cannot become official until the new league year begins on March 16th.
Does this move help Cleveland Browns land Deshaun Watson?
More importantly, what does the move mean for Jarvis Landry’s future with the Browns and a potential Deshaun Watson trade to Cleveland?
For Landry, there is a slim chance that he will be a Cleveland Brown in 2022. While the door cannot be shut completely on a potential return, barring any unforeseen circumstance like a contract restructure, Landry will likely be traded or released.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo has also reported that Landry is open to staying with the Browns, though it will not be at the $15 million mark that he is scheduled to earn next season. The sides are trying to figure out if staying is possible, however, it is not likely.
As for Deshaun Watson, this is a big-time move for Cleveland. It will only help the Browns’ chances of landing the superstar quarterback in the coming days/weeks.
The Browns are very interested in Deshaun Watson and fit what Watson wants on his next team perfectly.
Deshaun is looking for his next team to have a good head coach, a good offensve line and a good defense, according to Senior NFL reporter Jonathan Jones.
Watson will talk to teams before he makes a decision on whether or not to waive his no trade clause, but Cleveland is one of the teams that he will likely be talking to at some point — and adding a playmaker such as Watson could help convince him to waive the clause.
With the addition of Cooper, Cleveland now seems to be in a prime position to make a push for the 3-time Pro Bowl Watson, if they so choose.