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WR Cooper absent as Browns begin minicamp

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BEREA, Ohio — Cleveland Browns wide receiver Amari Cooper was not in attendance for the first day of mandatory minicamp Tuesday, an absence head coach Kevin Stefanski said was not excused.

Stefanski would not confirm if Cooper’s absence was contract-related but said “there’s been a dialogue” between the team and Cooper’s agent.

Cooper, who turns 30 next Monday, is entering the final year of a five-year, $100 million deal he originally signed as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. He has a base salary of $20 million in 2024, none of which is guaranteed.

Cooper, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, was not seen at any of the team’s OTA practices open to media but he was in Cleveland last weekend for tight end David Njoku‘s celebrity softball game.

This offseason, several wide receivers have received lucrative extensions, most recently the Minnesota Vikings’ Justin Jefferson and Miami Dolphins’ Jaylen Waddle. In March, the Browns traded for Jerry Jeudy and subsequently signed him to a three-year extension worth $58 million.

“He’s the best in the league,” quarterback Deshaun Watson said of Cooper. “I believe it. He shows it each and every year. He’s showed it the last two years with different quarterbacks, so I think you’ve got to put him up there with the best.”

In March 2022, the Browns traded a 2022 fifth-round pick and swapped sixth-round picks for Cooper. In 2023, Cooper caught 72 passes for a career-high 1,250 yards and five touchdowns.

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