Insider provides major update on Amari Cooper contract situation

The Browns and Amari Cooper should be able to find common ground
Cleveland Browns, Amari Cooper
Cleveland Browns, Amari Cooper / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Until the Cleveland Browns start training camp at the end of July, one story will stand out — the current holdout for Amari Cooper.

Entering his third season with the Browns, Cooper is seeking a new deal for two reasons. One, he no longer has any guaranteed money as he enters the final year of his contract. Two, the wide receiver market exploded which has him sitting at No. 20 in terms of salary.

That might not sound terrible, but the numbers say it is. Cooper finished 10th in the NFL with 1,250 yards despite playing with four different quarterbacks — two of which struggled mightily. The good news is the Browns understand his worth and insider Mary Kay Cabot says the two sides are intent on getting something done.

Cabot adds that the holdout hasn't done anything to upset the front office and that "both parties would like the issue resolved by the start of training camp July 24th so Cooper doesn’t miss a beat."

Cooper set the franchise record in his final regular-season appearance, hauling in 265 yards receiving. He also topped the 1,000-yard mark for the second year in a row, becoming the first player in team history to do so.

Age is not a concern for Amari Cooper

One common rebuttal to Cooper asking for more money seems to be his age. While it's true he recently turned 30, he's nowhere close to hanging up his cleats. He's also not the oldest wideout to seek a big contract. Cabot also touched on this, showing that several of the highest-paid wideouts are the same age — or older — than Cooper.

"Miami’s Tyreek Hill, 30, is No. 4 on the list at $30 million a year, the Raiders’ Davante Adams, 31, is No. 6 at $28 million, the Rams’ Cooper Kupp is No. 7 at $26.7 million, the Titans’ Calvin Ridley, who turns 30 in December, is No. 13 at $23 million, and the Texans’ Stefon Diggs, 30, is No. 15 at $22.520 million."

Fair comps Browns can use for Amari Cooper

While Cooper could try and force his way toward the top of the list, Cabot believes his salary demand will be much more reasonable. She used Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a comparison. Evans, also 30 years old, signed a two-year deal worth $41 million.

However, he has another $11 million in escalators and $35 million guaranteed. Most importantly, he got $29 million of the guarantee when he signed the contract.

Something similar to this deal should be enough to keep Cooper happy and the Browns would be wise to keep him on the roster for at least the next two seasons.

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