Browns ‘At Odds’ With WR Amari Cooper Amid Contract Dispute

The Browns and Amari Cooper have hit a sticking point in contract negotiations.

Getty Images The Browns and Amari Cooper have hit a sticking point in contract negotiations.

The Cleveland Browns and Amari Cooper are “at odds” in their negotiations over an extension.

Cooper skipped voluntary OTAs and the Browns’ mandatory minicamp from June 11-13. The Pro Bowl pass-catcher is heading into the final year of his contract and is holding out for a new deal.

Cooper is set to make $23.77 million next season. With wide receiver contracts skyrocketing around the league, he’d like a raise. However, according to Brad Stainbrook of, the main sticking point for Cooper is the length of the contract.

“The negotiations are ongoing but money is not the main issue. The Browns are willing to give Cooper an increased salary for this season,” Stainbrook said on June 17. “The sticking point is the length of the deal. The Browns have yet to offer Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper a contract extension longer than one year.”

Cooper has a ton of leverage in negotiations. He’s coming off one of the best years of his career. He caught 72 passes for 1,250 yards and 5 touchdowns. On top of that, the Browns do not have a reliable option to replace his production currently on the roster. Cooper, 30, wants to cash in now coming off the big year and secure his future.

“If Cooper were to accept that offer from the Browns, he would get a small pay raise for this season, but effectively be back in the same situation next year,” Stainbrook said. “If he were to have a poor year or get hurt, the Browns could simply release him. And if he has a great year, he’s then looking for another renegotiation. It makes sense for Cooper to want that added security guaranteed money would give him.”

Browns QB Deshaun Watson Backs Amari Cooper

The Browns have been very careful structuring their wide receiver contracts. However, Cooper has earned an extension with his play. He also has someone very important in his corner: quarterback Deshaun Watson.

“He’s the best in the game, and I believe that,” Watson said of Cooper on June 11. “He shows it each and every year. He showed it the last two years with different quarterbacks. So, I think you got to put him up there, if not the best.”

Cooper is a quiet star and is not known for causing issues. Watson and his teammates has his back as he works through the negotiations.

“Amari is our brother, our teammate, we support him, and the decisions that he got to make for himself is on Amari,” Watson said. “But everyone in this locker room respects him and knows exactly what he’s about. And whenever he gets back, he’s going to be ready to go.”

Cedric Tillman Excelling in Amari Cooper’s Absence

With Cooper not attending and Jerry Jeudy sidelined during mandatory minicamp, there’s been more reps to go around. Second-year wide receiver Cedric Tillman has taken advantage of the opportunity and has shined in offseason workouts.

“I don’t believe Ced missed the day of the offseason program. He was here every single day. I know he got better because of that,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said on June 13. “And I think he got better in the weight room, got better in the meeting room, definitely got better on the grass. So, you know, you would love to say, ‘Hey, everybody, be here every day.’ It’s a voluntary program. That’s not the case. But I do want to highlight a guy, like Ced that because he was here, because he worked extra. I think he’s a young player that’s getting better.”

Tillman was a third-round pick of the Browns in 2023. He caught just 21 passes for 224 yards during his rookie year. He appears set up to make more of an impact alongside Cooper, Jeudy and Elijah Moore next season.

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