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#pounditMonday, July 4, 2022

Titans’ AJ Brown does not understand how the salary cap works

AJ Brown smiles

A.J. Brown sent some tweets on Saturday that indicate he does not understand how the NFL salary cap works.

Wide receiver Amari Cooper was traded Saturday from the Cowboys to the Browns. Cleveland is only giving Dallas a fifth-round pick, while the teams are swapping sixth-round picks. That’s not much compensation for a 27-year-old receiver with five 1,000-yard seasons in his career.

Brown seemed bewildered that a good receiver like Cooper yielded so little in a trade.

Brown also pumped up Cooper as being a good player.

Nobody is disputing Brown’s belief that Cooper is a good receiver and more valuable than players you can draft in the fifth round. But that’s not the only component that factors into the compensation a team is willing to give up for a player.

The big issue with Cooper is simple: he’s too expensive. Cooper is due $20 million each of the next three seasons. So the question isn’t so easy as: how good of a player is Cooper? The question is whether Cooper is worth using 10 percent of your budget on. And most teams recognize he’s not worth that kind of money and that they can find much better ways to spend $20 million.

Were Cooper under contract for $10-$12 million per season, then you would have seen many more teams interested in him and willing to give up more picks. But at $20 million, most teams are taking a pass.

Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

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