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Why Cowboys WR Michael Gallup is the dream trade target for Packers

Packers Wire logo Packers Wire 10/28/2020 Zach Kruse
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The Green Bay Packers are a little handcuffed financially as next Tuesday’s trade deadline approaches. The team doesn’t have much cap space to work with this year, around $6 million or so, and GM Brian Gutekunst needs every possible penny to sign several important in-house free agents next spring and keep his team intact in 2021.

It’s a tricky situation that doesn’t allow much wiggle room. Just about any veteran player with a big cap hit this year or next year doesn’t really work for the Packers from a trade standpoint, unless, of course, Gutekunst is ready to let a bunch of contributors go and start a mini-rebuild in 2021.

The Packers don’t really operate that way. They pay their own, and mostly avoid big transactions that could hurt their ability to pay their own.

This reality whittles down the trade possibilities.

However, there is at least one player – who is cheap for the next two years, on a bad team and at the right position – that fits as a potential target.

Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Gallup.

He’s on his rookie deal. He’s under contract for 2021. He’s undeniably talented. And he plays receiver, a position the Packers are probably looking to upgrade as they prepare for a title run.

This is the type of dream trade target that works for the Packers.

Gallup’s base salary in 2020 is only $750,000, meaning he’d only eat up a tiny fraction of what the Packers have available this year. And while he’s going to get a proven performance escalator on his base salary in 2021, he’ll still be an affordable player on the final year of his rookie deal.

Why would Mike McCarthy and the Cowboys deal Gallup, an emerging playmaker who had a 1,000-yard receiving season in 2019 and is averaging 19.5 per catch this season?

For starters, this looks like a dead team in 2020. Dak Prescott is done of the year, the offensive line is in shambles, and the defense can’t stop anyone. The Cowboys look stunningly incapable of winning the NFC East despite the Eagles currently leading the division at 2-4-1.

Also, Dallas has two stud receivers in Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. Cooper got a big deal in 2019; Lamb is a 2020 first-round pick. If this team feels good about the situation at receiver, dealing Gallup now for a premium pick could help fast-track a rebuild on defense or the offensive line.

Sunday’s loss in Washington showed why dealing Gallup now might work. The Cowboys couldn’t block anyone, Andy Dalton got hurt, and Gallup didn’t catch a single pass.

What would it take to get Gallup? Likely a Day 2 pick or better. Maybe a Day 2 pick and another mid-rounder. The Cowboys know he’s a good player, and he’s not only a talented receiver, but he’s cost-effective for the next two years. No team is looking to just give a young player like that away.

Still, trading a second-round pick for Gallup works for the Packers if they want a playmaker for the title run this season and think Gallup could be a long-term complement to Davante Adams at receiver.

Not many trade scenarios make much sense for the Packers leading up to the deadline, but Gallup to Green Bay might. If the Cowboys are willing, and the price isn’t exorbitant, the Packers should be interested.

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