Amari Cooper Misses Browns Minicamp, Signaling the WR Wants His Own Blockbuster Contract

Amari Cooper has ignited the Browns' air attack, but his absence Tuesday signals the receiver wants to join the evolving WR market.

The Cleveland Browns have been fortunate to watch Amari Cooper emerge as a perennial 1,000-yard threat in their offense after adding him via trade in March 2022.

But the franchise practiced without their star wide receiver Tuesday, which is now signaling Cooper has a demand that he hopes gets met.

Amari Cooper Absent From Browns Minicamp

Since his arrival to the Browns, Cooper has flourished as a back-to-back 70-catch, 1,000-yard receiver. He’s also witnessed the WR market explode financially.

With the wide receiver market exploding, several of Cooper’s peers at the position have scored mega deals this offseason. And now, his disappearance from minicamp points to him wanting his own new deal.

Cooper’s head coach, Kevin Stefanski, addressed the Browns WR’s disappearance with reporters.

“These situations, I understand that they do come up,” Stefanski said. “I’ll really leave all of that between Amari, Amari’s agent, and AB (general manager Andrew Berry) and those type of conversations. 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 added how “there’s been a dialogue” between the franchise and Cooper about his current situation.

Cooper is in the final year of his current contract, a five-year, $100 million deal he signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 2020. Dallas cleared cap space by shipping Cooper, who earned two Pro Bowl appearances for the Cowboys.

The No. 4 overall pick from the 2015 draft elevated his yardage to 1,250 last season after tallying 1,160 in his first stint with Cleveland. More impressively, Cooper’s 2023 total came with the team watching injuries pile up behind center after the franchise was forced to play six different QBs before Joe Flacco handled the reins down the stretch and into the playoffs.

According to Over The Cap, the Browns have approximately $13.7 million left in cap space for 2024. Still, Cooper has watched his fellow wideouts change the market and clearly wants to join in.

Cooper Joins List of Receivers Seeking New Contracts

Cooper isn’t the only star WR seeking a new deal with his respective team. Other wide receivers, such as Justin Jefferson, A.J. Brown, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith, and Nico Collins have all signed mega deals this offseason.

However, there are still those waiting to cash in.

San Francisco 49ers wideout Brandon Aiyuk, for instance, is entering a contract year and would like to get extended before the season. Like Cooper, Aiyuk has put together consecutive 1,000-yard seasons as a former first-round selection. And he’s done it while playing through his own QB changes from Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance, to Brock Purdy. Aiyuk is in the last year of his deal that he signed in 2020.

KEEP READING: Who Are the NFL’s Highest-Paid Wide Receivers in 2024?

Cooper’s former team is another embroiled in a scrutinized contract situation involving a standout receiver, with CeeDee Lamb also up for a new deal in Dallas. Lamb is coming off a league-leading 135-catch campaign, giving him leverage to help add to the growing WR market.

Back in the AFC, Super Bowl winner and prized 2023 trade addition for the Miami Dolphins, Tyreek Hill, is eligible for a new deal. The franchise, though, once again paid Waddle before renegotiating terms on a newer contract for the perennial Pro Bowler Hill.

Finally, the Cincinnati Bengals are facing not one, but two major financial decisions through the duo of Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.

Chase just witnessed his fellow LSU peer Jefferson score a new contract. Yet, he’s still on his 2021 rookie deal and set to become a free agent in 2026. Higgins, though, demanded a trade during the offseason and is still awaiting his own deal. Of the two, Higgins is a minicamp no-show for the Bengals.

Cooper now joins this list of high-profile WRs aiming to earn more than what they presently make. The 30-year-old’s absence from practice has fueled the notion he wants to remain locked in with the Browns but wants a new deal to ensure his stay.

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