July 22, 2024

Browns WR Amari Cooper reiterates desire ‘to get paid this year’

Five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper was absent from the Browns’ mandatory minicamp for one reason: He wants a new deal heading into the final year of his current contract.

Cooper reiterated his desire to get paid during a recent interaction caught on camera.

“I’d pull a hammy or something trying to race you,” Cooper said via the betting company Betr. “I’m trying to get paid this year.”

The 30-year-old is more than deserving; he has been nothing short of productive since joining Cleveland in 2022. Over the past two years, he has posted 150 catches for 2,410 yards and 14 touchdowns.

In March, general manager Andrew Berry said he wanted to keep Cooper with the Browns for as long as possible.

“[Amari] Cooper’s a Pro Bowl-caliber receiver. He’s played really well for us the past two years,” Berry said via Keith Britton of 92.3 The Fan. “He’s a strong presence in the locker room. We love him. Players like that, you want to make sure that you can retain as long as possible.”

If Cleveland wants to keep Cooper long-term, why hasn’t the team reached a deal with him?

It could be due to the booming wide receiver market. Several have already received big paydays this offseason, highlighted by the Minnesota Vikings making Justin Jefferson the highest-paid non-quarterback in the league with a four-year extension worth $140 million.

Cooper wouldn’t demand that type of money, but he knows his value. No player outside of Cooper eclipsed 650 receiving yards for the Browns last season.

Cleveland hopes that changes this year with wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, whom the team traded for in March. However, even he has been inconsistent through the first four years of his NFL career.

Only time will tell if the Browns are willing to give Cooper the payday he’s looking for, but his absence could extend deeper into the summer if the two sides can’t find a compromise soon.