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Where in the World is Amari Cooper?

This week in Berea Ohio, the Cleveland Browns opened their mandatory minicamp. Noticeably absent from this minicamp is wide receiver Amari Cooper. Although Cooper was present at the prior weekend’s charity softball game hosted by Browns tight end David Njoku. He is in the final year of his contract with the Browns, and he wants an extension. Which is the reason for the holdout.

Amari Cooper is scheduled to make $20 million dollars this season. The wide receiver market recently exploded in the NFL. Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson recently signed a 35 million dollar a year contract. However, Amari Cooper turns 30 years old this month. An extension for him is not out of the question. But what might be a sticking point in the current negotiations?

The good news is that the Browns and Cooper’s representation are negotiating as I write this article. Cooper is protecting is own interest, just as the Browns are protecting their interests. From what I can see it is not necessarily the money being an issue, but the years added to the extension. He is getting older. And the Browns philosophy is to pay the player you are getting and not pay the player you once had. Also, 2026 is the last year of quarterback Deshaun Watsons contract and the Cleveland Browns want to remain flexible that offseason.  So where does this go from here?

To be clear, Amari Cooper has the support of teammates and coaches. Both Head Coach Kevin Stefanski and quarterback Deshaun Watson stated that these things come up in the NFL. It is a part of doing business and negotiations can get messy. But I think a deal will get done before the start of training camp.  I believe that the Cleveland Browns and Amari Cooper can and will get this done. Holdouts and contract negotiations are nothing new in the NFL. But what is new to the Cleveland Browns is having to extend to quality players to continue winning. And to continue winning is why they will get this done.


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