It’s never too early to start thinking about and planning for the future in my opinion. That’s the current mindset I find myself in, especially in regards to what takes place between the Dallas Cowboys and Michael Gallup beyond the 2020 season. There’s no denying Gallup is an up-and-coming star in the NFL, but it’s that status that also makes his long-term future in Dallas a bit cloudy.
The Dallas Cowboys technically have Michael Gallup under contract for at least two more years. He doesn’t become a free agent until after the 2021 season, however, that also means Gallup has to be willing to play out his entire rookie deal. That’s where everything becomes a bit cloudy. What if he’s not willing to play out his rookie contract? What happens then?
It’s become somewhat commonplace for up-and-coming players to try and secure their long term future before finishing out their rookie contracts. That has to be in the back of Michael Gallup’s mind, and if not, you can bet it’s something his agent is thinking about. So what does that mean for the Dallas Cowboys? What are their options?
Cowboys’ Options With Michael Gallup Beyond 2020
- Sign Michael Gallup to a long-term extension
- Let him play out his rookie contract
- Trade him prior to the 2021 season
- Use the transition/franchise tag on him in 2022
Let’s discuss each one of these options a little bit more in detail shall we…
Signing Michael Gallup to a Long-term Extension
Odds are we can probably take this option off the table. The Dallas Cowboys already have a lot of money invested in Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. Both players are locked up financially for probably the next five years, if/when the Cowboys exercise Lamb’s fifth-year option. It’s unlikely they’d be willing to invest even more money into the position by awarding a Michael Gallup a long-term extension.
After looking at comparable WR contracts, Michael Gallup will at least be looking to make $10 million annually on his next contract. It’s highly unlikely the Cowboys are interested in keeping him under that kind of price tag. That money will need to be spread out and allocated to other positions on the roster in need of upgrading. So, I guess we can we can scratch this option off the list.
Let Michael Gallup Play out his Rookie Contract
If I’m being completely honest, I think this is most likely option the Dallas Cowboys go with in regards to Michael Gallup. With so much money already invested in the WR position, the Cowboys can simply sit back and let Gallup play out his rookie contract. Once he signs elsewhere after the 2021 season, as a free agent, they should receive a 2022 compensatory pick in return.
Michael Gallup may not be happy if this is the way things play out, but playing alongside Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb should help him boost his stats over the next two seasons. More production typically means more demand on the open market and more money in the bank account. It also means he has a say in the team he ends up playing for next.
Trade Michael Gallup Prior to the 2021 Season
Michael Gallup doesn’t have much leverage when it comes to seeking a long-term extension from the Dallas Cowboys, but he could use what he has. He could threaten to hold out the 2021 season until his demands are met or ask for a trade to a team willing to offer him the long-term financial stability the Cowboys aren’t. This situation is starting to become more commonplace for young up-and-coming players.
It’s unlikely the Dallas Cowboys give in to Gallup’s contract demands, but what about giving into a trade request? Like I mentioned earlier, the Cowboys will more than likely receive a 2022 compensatory pick by letting him play out his rookie contract. If they trade him prior to the 2021 season the compensation would have to be quite a bit better than the comp pick, which could be as high as a third-rounder. I doubt it happens, but it’s interesting to think about.
Use the Transition/Franchise Tag on Michael Gallup in 2022
If the Dallas Cowboys are unwilling to give Michael Gallup a long-term extension, using the transition/franchise tag to secure Michael Gallup’s services in 2022 is highly unlikely. This is a scenario much like the Cowboys found themselves in this offseason with Amari Cooper. It would’ve cost them over $15 million to use the transition tag on Cooper and over $17 million for the franchise tag.
Those numbers are expected to go up by 2022 and I highly doubt the Cowboys believe Michael Gallup is worthy of that kind of money. Some team may be willing to pay Gallup northwards of $10 million a season, but like we discussed earlier Dallas probably isn’t with the amount of money already invested into the position. So, this is probably another option we can take off the table.
With all of that in mind, it really looks as if the Dallas Cowboys only have two options that make sense in regards to Michael Gallup. They can trade him if the compensation justifies doing so or they simply let him play out his rookie contract, which should net them a 2022 compensatory pick. Luckily, we still have one more season of Gallup’s services before we really have to take any of this seriously. It’s something to keep in mind though.