Browns Send Message to Amari Cooper on Extension

The Cleveland Browns plan to extend wide receiver Amari Cooper.

Getty Images The Cleveland Browns plan to extend wide receiver Amari Cooper.

Amari Cooper is entering the final year of his contract, but the Cleveland Browns would like to extend his stay sooner than later.

Cooper is coming off a Pro Bowl season with the Browns. He registered a career-high 1,250 yards on 72 receptions with 5 touchdowns. He will turn 30 this offseason but has shown no signs of slowing down. Cooper is also a no-nonsense pass-catcher who meshes well with the culture in Cleveland.

Browns general manager Andrew Berry discussed the potential of extending Cooper while speaking to reporters at the NFL’s annual meetings this week.

“Look, Coop’s a Pro Bowl-caliber receiver,” Berry said, per Mary Kay Cabot of “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.”

As it stands now, Cooper is due to make $20 million next season and has a cap charge of $23.77 million.

Browns Were Proactive With Jerry Jeudy Contract

The Browns did some work this season to build up their receiver depth, trading for former first-round pick Jerry Jeudy. The Browns sent fifth- and sixth-round picks to the Denver Broncos for Jeudy. Cleveland moved quickly after that, inking Jeudy to a three-year extension that will pay him up to $58 million. Of that money, $41 million is fully guaranteed. The team officially announced the extension on Tuesday, March 19.

It’s some significant money for a receiver who has underproduced and has yet to play a snap in a Browns uniform. However, Berry felt the Browns were getting ahead of the curve by doing it early.

“In Jerry’s case, you already saw two new receiver contracts enter the market that really are harbingers of things to come in that market,” Berry said. “Probably by Week 1 of the NFL season, the top of that market’s going to be north of $30 million. So as we think of the contract-management space, rather than be reactive to new market dynamics, we try to be proactive. Probably more importantly, when we think about an extension or a signing, we think of where is the market going to be on September 1 as opposed to March 1.”

Passing Game Hinges on Browns QB Deshaun Watson

The Browns have the weapons to have a productive passing game. The key will be keeping Deshaun Watson on the field. The Browns’ $230 million quarterback has played in just 12 games since arriving in 2022. His most recent season was cut short by a season-ending shoulder injury.

The Browns expect Watson to be ready for the start of the season and feel good about his progress in rehab.

“He’s doing everything he’s supposed to, so he’s right on track,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said.

Watson will have some new company in the quarterback room. The Browns signed former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston as a backup option. Cleveland also brought on Tyler Huntley to compete for a backup spot. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who is entering his second season, will also be in the mix.

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