Cowboys Could Land $15 Million ‘Ring-Chasing Mercenary’ WR: Analyst

The Dallas Cowboys could be an ideal landing spot for a veteran wide receiver in his “ring-chasing mercenary stage.”

Mike McCarthy

As suggested by Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger, the Cowboys could be a “potential” landing spot for Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. While Beckham isn’t the star receiver he was earlier in his career with the New York Giants, he could be a dependable secondary option for Dak Prescott.

Spielberger cites the struggles of Michael Gallup and Brandin Cooks slotted better as a No. 3 receiver as reasons for why the Cowboys may pursue Beckham.

“Beckham’s market surely won’t produce another fully guaranteed $15 million contract like it did last offseason with Baltimore, which used him sparingly in the playoffs despite that investment,” writes Spielberger. “He is now firmly in the ring-chasing mercenary stage of his career. The Cowboys still need more receiver talent for quarterback Dak Prescott, with veteran field-stretcher Brandin Cooks profiling as a solid third receiver and Michael Gallup not looking like the same player he was pre-ACL injury.”

Cowboys Previously Showed Interest in Odell Beckham Jr.

The Cowboys previously showed interest in signing Beckham at the conclusion of the 2022 season when he was make his return from a torn ACL. However, Dallas didn’t offer Beckham a contract due to concerns over his availability for the 2022 season.

Beckham signed a one-year, $15 million deal with the Ravens last offseason. Considering he’s 31 years of age and was a clear secondary receiver behind Zay Flowers in Baltimore’s receiving corps, he won’t garner anywhere near that type of deal this offseason.

With that being said, he still has a little bit of tread left on the tires. Beckham caught 35 passes for 565 receiving yards and three touchdowns in 14 games last season for 16.1 yards per reception. His yards per reception last season is actually the highest of his career.

Furthermore, the advanced analytics paint a better picture of Beckham’s contributions than his individual statistics. According to Pro Football Focus, Beckham posted a 76.2 offensive grade and 78.0 receiving grade last season, his highest in each category since the 2018 season with the Giants. Beckham’s offensive grade actually ranked 30th among all wide receivers while his receiving grade ranked 28th.

Why the Cowboys Could Use Odell Beckham Jr.

The question is, would the Cowboys want to add another receiver who is on the wrong side of age 30?

Cooks will be 31 years old entering the 2024 season and while Gallup will only be 28 years old this season, he hasn’t been the same player since his ACL injury at the conclusion of the 2021 season. Shortly after that season, Dallas signed Gallup to a five-year, $62.5 million contract extension.

Gallup’s numbers since then are the following: 39 receptions for 424 receiving yards and four touchdowns during the 2022 season and 34 receptions for 418 receiving yards and two touchdowns during the 2023 season.

That means Gallup has posted 842 receiving yards in his 31 games played since 2022, equating to 27.1 receiving yards per game. By comparison, Gallup averaged 79.1 yards per game in 2019, 52.7 yards per game in 2020 and 52.7 yards per game in 2021.

The Cowboys could move on from Gallup — who has three years left on his deal — this offseason for a dead cap hit of $13 million.

Meanwhile, Cooks has one year left on his deal with a base salary of $8 million. The Cowboys could move on from him this offseason for a dead cap hit of $6 million, but that makes little sense.

Dallas certainly needs to upgrade it’s receiver corps. But it seems more likely they either do so in the draft or with a younger receiver in free agency.

If both of those options fail, then Beckham becomes a more realistic option.

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