Amari Cooper risk is becoming a major reward for the Browns
After the 2021 season, the Cowboys decided to move on from receiver Amari Cooper. If they hadn’t found a trade partner, they would have cut him.
Enter the Browns, with a move that seemed confusing at the time. Cooper hadn’t performed particularly well on grass and/or in the elements. He’d have both in Cleveland. Moreover, $20 million for a receiver? That seemed a little pricey.
Until, of course, the receiver market went haywire and $20 million started to look like a pretty good deal.
Cooper didn’t do much in Week One, with three catches for 17 yards on six targets in Carolina. For back-to-back games in Cleveland only four days apart, Cooper went over 100 receiving yards in each one. Just barely, with 101 exactly in each game, but he entered into triple-digit territory twice in less than a week. Along the way, he’s becoming one of quarterback Jacoby Brissett’s most reliable targets.
Cooper’s biggest play last night came on the first snap of the fourth quarter. With the Browns facing third and one from their own 29, Brissett faked a handoff to the left, rolled to the right, and found Cooper crossing left to right in single coverage. He was wide open. The 32-yard gain fueled a drive that ended in the touchdown that essentially put the game away.
As much as the Cowboys possibly miss Cooper, the Browns should be thrilled to have him. And they were wise to make the move, and not to flinch at the price. Intervening contracts for veteran receivers have made it a bargain deal. Cooper’s performance so far has made it a brilliant move.