Amari Cooper, entering final year of contract, not present at Cleveland Browns minicamp (2024)

Chris EasterlingAkron Beacon Journal

BEREA, Ohio — Wide receiver Amari Cooper was not present when the Cleveland Browns opened up their mandatory minicamp on Tuesday. Whether he shows up either of the next two days remains to be seen.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed after the 90-minute practice that Cooper's absence was unexcused. He would not comment on why the veteran pass catcher was not at minicamp.

"Yeah, not excused," Stefanski said. "Obviously as you guys know, you really have to focus on the guys that are here. These situations, I understand that they do come up. I'll really leave all of that between Amari and Amari's Agent, AB and those type of conversations. But again, as you guys know, we focus on guys that are here. We'll get some good work in and really keep it at that."

Stefanski did say there has been dialogue between Cooper's side and the Browns. He wouldn't elaborate.

Cooper is subject to fines as part of the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NFL Players' Association. For missing Tuesday's workout, the maximum he can be fined for the day is $16,953.

The maximum daily fine for missing Wednesday's workout would be $33,908. That daily fine increases to $50,855 if he doesn't show up for the final day on Thursday.

Cooper was present and participated in last Saturday for Browns tight end David Njoku's celebrity softball game in Eastlake. He did not speak to the media present at the event.

"Amari is our brother, our teammate, we support him and the decisions that he's got to make for himself is on Amari," quarterback Deshaun Watson said Tuesday. "But everyone in this locker room respect him and know exactly what he's about. Whenever he gets back, he's going to be ready to go.”

While there has been no one publicly confirming the reason for Cooper's absence, he is going into the final year of the five-year, $100 million contract he originally signed in 2020 while with the Dallas Cowboys. The Browns acquired Cooper, along with a 2022 sixth-round draft pick, in March, 2022, in exchange for fifth- and sixth-round picks in the 2022 draft.

The Browns went out and traded with the Denver Broncos for another former first-round wide receiver, Jerry Jeudy, this past March to add to the wide receiver position. Jeudy — like both Cooper and Elijah Moore, was going into the final year of his contract at the time of the trade.

However, they quickly turned around and gave Jeudy — who, like Cooper and another Browns receiver, Elijah Moore, was on the final year of his deal at the time of the trade — a three-year, $52.5 million extension, with $41 million of that guaranteed. Neither Cooper nor Moore have had new deals done.

Berry sounded like a general manager at least interested in getting an extension done when he was asked about it in March at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Florida.

"Look, Coop’s a Pro Bowl caliber receiver," Berry said. "He's played really well for us the past two years. He's a strong presence in the locker room. We love him. So players like that, you want to make sure that you can retain as long as possible and we’ll work through all of that at the appropriate times."

Jeudy was not on the field for Tuesday's practice. Stefanski confirmed he was present in the facility, but was "just working through some things"

That left Moore as the most prominent wide receiver available for Watson and the other quarterbacks to target during the practice. That also provided more reps for second- and third-year pros Cedric Tillman, David Bell and Michael Woods II.

"All of that is timing," Watson said of having receivers out. "Guys got to make sure they take care of different things and Jeudy's another guy who's been here mentally and taking mental reps but making sure he's taking care of his body too, and the staff knows exactly what they need to do for him and I just can't wait until we all get together and we have a lot of reps during training camp and especially this offseason, we’re all in the same area so we'll be good."

MORE: 11 NFL stars still awaiting their big paydays

The five-time Pro Bowler has posted back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons since coming to the Browns. He’s the first receiver in franchise history to accomplish that feat.

Cooper has 2,410 receiving yards combined with the Browns, a number that ranks eighth in the NFL in that time frame. He's caught 150 passes on 260 targets while in Cleveland, including 14 touchdowns.

The former No. 4 overall pick out of the University of Alabama by the Oakland Raiders in 2015, Cooper has 667 catches for 9,486 yards and 60 touchdowns in his career. His 1,270 receiving yards last season with the Browns was a career high, while the 72 catches were tied for sixth-best in a season.

Chris Easterling can be reached at ceasterling@thebeaconjournal.com. Read more about the Browns at www.beaconjournal.com/sports/browns. Follow him on X at @ceasterlingABJ

Amari Cooper, entering final year of contract, not present at Cleveland Browns minicamp (2024)

FAQs

Amari Cooper, entering final year of contract, not present at Cleveland Browns minicamp? ›

The Cleveland Browns were dealt a curveball last week during mandatory minicamp as star wide receiver Amari Cooper was absent as he's looking for a new contract. The 29-year-old receiver is entering the final year of a five-year, $100 extension he signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 2020.

What did the Browns give up to get Amari Cooper? ›

Cooper is entering the final year of the contract he signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 2020, a five-year, $100 million deal that ended up prompting the Cowboys to move him to Cleveland in exchange for pennies on the dollar (a fifth-round pick and sixth-round pick swap) and cap relief in 2022.

What team did Amari Cooper play for before the Browns? ›

Looking for a top-tier playmaker, the Browns acquired Cooper before the 2022 season in a trade from the Cowboys, who wanted to get out from his contract. He's had consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in Cleveland and become one of the Browns' strongest leaders on and off the field.

How long has Amari Cooper been in the league? ›

Originally drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the first round (4th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft… Traded to the Dallas Cowboys for 2019 first-round pick on Oct. 22, 2018… Traded to the Cleveland Browns along with 2022 sixth-round draft pick for 2022 fifth and sixth round picks on March 16, 2022.

Was Amari Cooper drafted? ›

Selected by Oakland Raiders in the first round (fourth overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft, April 30, 2015.

How much are the Browns paying Amari Cooper? ›

This season, three more will be playing on nine-figure contracts – the Las Vegas Raiders' Davante Adams, Philadelphia Eagles' A.J. Brown and Miami Dolphins' Tyreek Hill. Still at $20 million per season, Cooper's pay for 2024 is tied for eighth among the NFL's wide receivers.

How long is Amari Cooper on the Browns for? ›

As things stand right now, 2024 would be the final year of Cooper's current deal with the Browns, unless, of course, Berry works to change that.

How did Amari Cooper get to the Browns? ›

Acquiring Cooper for a third-day pick and a third-day pick swap in 2022 was a no-brainer for Cleveland. The Dallas Cowboys then faced major salary-cap issues, and the Browns made the trade to ensure they'd get Cooper on their roster.

When was Amari St Brown drafted? ›

He played college football at USC and was drafted by the Lions in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL draft. St. Brown was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2022 and 2023, along with being named first-team All-Pro in 2023.

Who did Amari Cooper play in college? ›

He played college football at the University of Alabama. During his freshman season with the Crimson Tide, Amari's 11 touchdowns broke Alabama's 62-year-old record set by Al Lary, and he broke the school's receptions and receiving yards record.

Is Amari Cooper a good WR? ›

He is projected for 1,119 yards and 6.2 TDs on 71.7 receptions, which is 36.4% of the total for WRs on the Browns. Cleveland has the 4th-best schedule for wide receivers. As the consensus #38 overall player, Cooper is a reasonable pick at his ADP of 49.

What rank is Amari Cooper? ›

More Cleveland Browns coverage

Cooper had a career year, catching 72 passes for a career-high 1,250 yards (17.4 per reception) and five touchdowns, good for 10th league-wide in yards. Among qualifying wide receivers he ranked 20th in overall PFF grading (79.9) and 22nd in receiving (79.6).

Does Amari Cooper have a nickname? ›

Mike Golic Jr on X: "thinking about how Amari Cooper's nickname is "The Route Runner"" / X.

Who did the Cowboys draft for Amari Cooper? ›

2022 season

On March 16, 2022, Cooper was traded to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a fifth-round pick (#155-Matt Waletzko) and a swap of sixth-round picks in the 2022 NFL draft.

Is Amari Cooper a slot receiver? ›

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper, while predominantly used outside the numbers, has quietly become one of the league's most efficient route runners from the slot.

How many thousand yard seasons does Amari Cooper have? ›

Amari Cooper has played 7 years with 1,000+ receiving yards.

What did the Browns give up? ›

In exchange for the signal-caller, Cleveland gave up three first-round picks, one third-round pick, and two fourth-round picks. The deal went well for the Texans, who thus acquired guard Kenyion Greene and defensive back Dameon Pierce in 2022 and linebacker Will Anderson Jr. in 2023.

Who did we get for Amari Cooper? ›

The Browns acquired Cooper, along with a 2022 sixth-round draft pick, in March, 2022, in exchange for fifth- and sixth-round picks in the 2022 draft. The Browns went out and traded with the Denver Broncos for another former first-round wide receiver, Jerry Jeudy, this past March to add to the wide receiver position.

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