Browns Star Amari Cooper Sends Message on Potential DeAndre Hopkins Signing

Amari Cooper of the Cleveland Browns

Getty Amari Cooper of the Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns have been heavily linked to free agent receiver DeAndre Hopkins and Amari Cooper — the team’s current top pass-catcher — is fully behind it.

In some situations, a team courting a former All-Pro receiver like Hopkins could cause some ripple effects in the locker room. Especially with quarterback Deshaun Watson being so vocal in the courtship of his former top target.

“Our connection, our relationship has always been great,” Watson said at the Browns Foundation Golf outing on May 30. “And I know there’s a lot of things swirling around in the media about him possibly coming to Cleveland. For me, my answer to that is, of course we’d love to have him.

“He knows that. We have a lot of connections, but it’s kind of out my range of things of trying to coordinate things. All I can do is make a call and see what happens and let AB [G.M. Andrew Berry] do the rest.”

Cooper understands why Watson would want Hopkins in Cleveland and would welcome him into the mix.

“I didn’t see that, but who wouldn’t?” Cooper said on June 6 when asked about Watson’s comments on Hopkins. “DeAndre has been a very great player in this league. Obviously, they have a lot of great chemistry. If I was him, I’d want the same thing.”

Amari Cooper on DeAndre Hopkins: ‘He’s Pretty Unstoppable’

Cooper’s resume allows him to be a bit more comfortable with the idea of another top-flight receiver being in the mix. He’s a four-time Pro Bowler and caught 78 passes last season for 1,160 yards and nine touchdowns

Hopkins is coming off a down year with the Arizona Cardinals, playing in just nine games due to a PED suspension and late-season injury. He still managed 64 catches for 717 yards but found the end zone just three times. Hopkins played just 10 games in 2021.

But in his last full season in 2020, Hopkins put up 1407 yards on 115 catches with six touchdowns. Cooper is well aware of the skill set that Hopkins brings to the table and has a large amount of respect for what he’s done.

“With DeAndre, he’s pretty unstoppable with the way he uses his hands and his body to position himself well to make the catch,” Cooper said. “So, it would be pretty good.”

Having Hopkins in the mix would cut down Cooper’s target share but it’s not something he’s worried about. Winning is the ultimate goal for Cooper — not his line in the box score.

“You add a great receiver like that, that’s probably going to happen because there’s only one ball — everybody’s got to get their touches,” Cooper said. “So, as long as it’s helping us win, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.”

Browns Satisfied With Current Group of Receivers

The Browns don’t need Hopkins but he’d be a massive addition at the right price. If he doesn’t end up coming to Cleveland, the Browns are comfortable with the new-look group they’ll run out next season.

Cleveland is especially jazzed about Elijah Moore, who they scored via a trade this offseason with the New York Jets. Moore was sent to the Browns on March 22 after an interesting two years as a member of the Jets. He had a strong rookie year, notching 43 catches for 538 yards and five touchdowns in just 11 games. However, Moore couldn’t improve upon that a year ago, catching just 37 balls for 446 yards and one touchdown.

The Browns believe a change of scenery will do Moore good and he’s been pegged as a breakout candidate by multiple outlets.

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