5-Time Pro Bowler Amari Cooper Missing Out on Mandatory Minicamp

Cleveland Browns Amari Cooper

Cleveland Browns receiver Amari Cooper was absent at their mandatory minicamp session on Tuesday and is subject to fines.

The soon-to-be 30-year-old is heading towards his contract year, as he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2025 if no deal with his current team gets done. Looking for a new deal, the five-time Pro Bowler could be holding out and may miss time till it gets resolved, as his absence was not excused.

While it might be just a temporary loss for cash till training camp, this could extend to something bigger if a deal doesn’t get done by training camp with the way wide receivers are being paid as of late.

Amari Cooper Coming Off Career Season With Browns

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The highly touted former first-round pick from 2015 somehow has not been an All-Pro in nine seasons, as this could be the last real shot at getting a solid season in. Despite being traded twice, Amari Cooper has gone over 1,000 yards six times with three different teams, including the Raiders when they were in Oakland when they first drafted him fourth overall.

In 2023, Cooper had 72 catches, 1,250 yards, and five touchdowns, specifically thriving with veteran quarterback Joe Flacco. In the two years with the Browns, he and Deshaun Watson have had an up-and-down season, according to Statmuse. Amari Cooper has dealt with many injuries over his NFL career, according to Draft Sharks, but he has been relatively healthy in Cleveland.

Veteran Pro Bowl Pass Catcher Deserves New Contract

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Amari Cooper was present for their OTAs but not mandatory minicamp, so he could be posturing with their ongoing contract negotiations before training camp officially begins. The Browns have $13.7 million in salary cap, according to Over The Cap, and the star wide receiver is being paid $20 million in base salary this coming season with no guarantees, according to Spotrac.

Cleveland’s team base salary cap is 20th in the NFL, ironically just above Dallas, who extended Cooper before trading him to the Browns in 2022. In 2020, the Cowboys gave him a five-year, $100 million deal that led to a trade involving a fifth-rounder and sixth-round pick swap two years after that contract.

If Amari Cooper Holdout Continues, Cleveland Has Other Receivers

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According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Amari Cooper wasn’t present at Brown’s mandatory minicamp that took place this week. Cleveland has optimism moving forward into 2024 as a team, but it does hinge on whether Watson can improve and stay healthy. They have star players like tight end David Njoku and hopefully, running back Nick Chubb coming off his season-ending injury.

The Browns wide receiver group includes Jerry Jeudy, a young former first-round pick who they extended and traded for from the Denver Broncos. Cleveland also has Elijah Moore, a young receiver who was traded from the New York Jets in 2023. Cooper not being present at their minicamp could allow their other receivers to step up, as that was missing in 2023.

About the Author

Previously wrote for Fansided NFL Mocks, Pro Football Network, uInterview and uSports, The Crafty Kit, The Daily Culture, and Ironiq Media. Recent Journalism/ Media Studies Grad and wrote for Impact News, the award-winning news publication of Mercy College, now Mercy University.

Now writing for Total Apex, mostly sports like the NFL, college football, the NFL draft, and fantasy football, along with covering my favorite team, the Baltimore Ravens. Also writing for Total Apex E&G about my favorite movies, shows, anime, and sometimes gaming.

You can follow me on Instagram @kimandrew1357, on YouTube @andrewkim1357, and on Twitter (aka X) @kookykim1357.

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