The Cleveland Browns reach a deal to acquire Amari Cooper. A fifth-round pick and sixth round swap open up options with pick 13 of the 2022 NFL Draft.
We have breaking news this lovely Saturday afternoon. The Cleveland Browns have landed a star receiver, striking a deal with the Dallas Cowboys to acquire Amari Cooper. Giving up a 2022 fifth-round pick, and swapping sixth-rounders, gets the Browns their new WR1 and opens up their options in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
After a relatively “off” season for Cooper with the Dallas Cowboys, the team seemed set on unloading the 27 year-old veteran receiver and his $20 million per year contract. After reports surfaced of his pending release, the trade market began heating up. Today, it boiled over with general manager Andrew Berry striking while the iron was hot for the Cleveland Browns.
According to seemingly everyone that has an opinion on the Cleveland Browns, a true number one wide receiver was the biggest need for the team coming into this offseason. After things didn’t work out with Odell Beckham Jr. a season ago the team was left with veteran Jarvis Landry and promising young wideouts, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Anthony Schwartz. Landry has always been a solid and reliable target, but it left them lacking a true dominant outside receiver that scares defenses.
Amari Cooper is just the guy to fill the role. Cooper is still an elite route runner who creates separation against any coverage a defense throws at him. He’s not quite the athlete that Peoples-Jones is and doesn’t have blinding speed down the field like the young Schwartz, but he will be a perfect complement moving forward. Cooper is under contract for the next three seasons, and at just 27, Cooper will certainly be a part of the future for the Cleveland Browns.
With the big move, Berry and the Cleveland Browns seem to have opened up a lot more options with the 13th overall pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Prior to today, almost every mock draft had the Browns selecting a wide receiver. Garrett Wilson, Treylon Burks, Drake London, Chris Olave, Jameson Williams… one seemed destined for Cleveland. It’s still not out of the question, but it seems more likely that they go with a young defender.
Whether it is an edge rusher, defensive tackle, a trade down for a linebacker or even trading away the first-round pick for a big-name quarterback, the Cleveland Browns don’t need to feel cornered into taking a wide receiver at 13.
Amari Cooper has had some injuries in his past and has now been traded away from a team twice, but he is still a young, but experienced, receiver than can be a true number one target for a team that desperately needs it. The Cleveland Browns have to hope that Cooper can stay on the field and keep his head on straight for them to feel comfortable paying him $20 million a year through 2024, but Cooper is the type of risk that the team needed to take to get things going in motion this offseason towards a possible Super Bowl run in 2022.