Amari Cooper Misses Browns Minicamp, Faces Potential Fines Amid Contract Rumors

Amari Cooper's minicamp absence raises contract and cap questions

by Zain ul Abedin
Amari Cooper Misses Browns Minicamp, Faces Potential Fines Amid Contract Rumors
© Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Amari Cooper Forgoes Minicamp Amidst Contract Rumors, Faces Six-Digit Fine. Amari Cooper is the latest in the list of wide receivers who've not reported for minicamp while waiting for a new contract. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Cleveland Browns wide receiver Amari Cooper will be absent for the start of the mandatory minicamp.

The collective bargaining agreement means Cooper will be subject to $101,716 in fines if he misses all three days. It adds to a list of wide receivers missing minicamp to look for a new deal, such as Brandon Aiyuk from the San Francisco 49ers, CeeDee Lamb from the Dallas Cowboys, and Tee Higgins from the Cincinnati Bengals.

But the case in point is Cooper. He is in the last year of a five-year, $100 million extension contract he signed from the Dallas Cowboys in March 2020. For comparison, Aiyuk, Lamb, and Higgins are all laboring under their rookie-deal-first extensions in the league.

Higgins, notably, still has yet to sign the $21.8 million franchise tender from the Bengals, and Lamb enters his rookie deal's final season. Aiyuk is under contract through 2025.

Cooper's Contract Impact

Cooper is due a $20 million base salary this season and will account for $23.8 million against the cap.

Despite the hit-and-miss quarterbacking that has plagued the Browns since his arrival, he remains one of the best in football at the position. Cooper had a career-best season from a receiving yardage point of view, gaining a career-best in 15 starts last season.

A nine-year veteran, Cooper has seven 1,000-yard receiving seasons to his credit in nine years, with both coming with Cleveland. One of the few concerns for Cooper in potential contract negotiations will be his age. On June 17th, he will be turning 30 years old, and in 2023, just five receivers 30 years old and older went for over 1,000 yards.

That's compounded by the Browns' current salary-cap status: Watson's entire contract had been fully guaranteed, and thus the Browns will, as a result be projected to go $42.9 million over the cap next year. As much as Cooper's season production is enough to say something, both parties might bump their heads on the player's age and the Browns' cap. Both parties have until a deal needs to be worked out sometime before the start of the regular season.

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