The price for Cooper was basically a fifth-round pick, with the teams also swapping sixth-round picks in the deal. The reason for that was because of Cooper’s salary, which $20 million for next season. The trade freed up $16 million of cap space for Dallas, which was the driving force behind making the deal. Still, Brown decided to gripe on social media about what he felt was a ridiculous value.
“One of the league’s best route runner[s]. Maybe the best route runner in the league is worth a fifth and a sixth-round pick … smh,” he tweeted.
Cooper is coming off a down year by his standards but still gives the Browns an unquestioned No. 1 receiver. Cooper had a pair of 1,000-yard seasons while in Dallas and was a top 10 receiver in just about every major category.
According to ESPN Stats & Information data, he ranked eighth in targets (428) among receivers, seventh in receptions (292), ninth in receiving yards (3,893) and ninth in receiving touchdowns (27).
Browns Now Have More Flexibility With Offseason Moves
For the Browns, it gives them more flexibility in free agency and the draft. With a surefire option in Cooper, they can be a little more creative on how they spend their capital. Cleveland is hoping that having someone like Cooper on the field will bring more consistency to the passing game.
“We were just too inconsistent,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said at the NFL Combine earlier this month. “There were times we just had to do a little bit of a better job at every spot – coaching, playing and you name it. We have to nail down the details of our system, give our guys the best chance to succeed and then ultimately make a couple more plays a game is what it comes down to.”
Much of that will also depend on Cooper’s chemistry with Baker Mayfield, who is still projected to be the starter at QB going into next season. Mayfield failed to build an on-field relationship with Odell Beckham Jr., who was let go during the middle of last season, going on to be a significant contributor for the Rams during their Super Bowl run.
Browns Need to Figure Out Jarvis Landry’s Situation
The big question mark that remains for the Browns is the future of Jarvis Landry, who was given permission to seek a trade following the move for Cooper.
Landry will turn 30 next season and carries a cap hit of more than $16 million. He has no guaranteed money left on his deal and Cleveland would save $14.8 million against the cap by trading or cutting Landry. However, the team and Landry could also agree on a restructure that makes sense for both sides, which Landry is open to per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. He did also note the situation is fluid and could end in a release.
Landry saw his production dip last year as he dealt with his first trip to the IR with a knee issue. He posted 52 catches for 570 yards and two touchdowns last season — all career-lows.