3 Players the Browns Need to Give Contract Extensions During the Season

Let's lock them up while we still can!

Amari Cooper should get a contract extension from the Browns during the 2023 season.
Amari Cooper should get a contract extension from the Browns during the 2023 season. / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Amari Cooper

Amari Cooper is under contract through the 2023 and 2024 seasons, carrying cap hits just shy of $24 million each year. He'll still only be 30 years old when that contract ends, so there's plenty of reason to want to keep him locked up while he's still in his prime.

Cooper made a clear impact in his first year with Cleveland, racking up 1,160 yards and 9 touchdowns and averaging a career-high 14.9 yards per reception despite being saddled with mediocre quarterback play all year.

Pro Football Focus had him as a top-15 wideout in 2022, and that 81.2 offensive grade he earned was second-best for a Browns receiver with 50-plus targets since 2015.

An extension will probably help our cap situation, too. First of all, it would spread his cap hit out a little more, but he's also likely not in for much of a pay raise, if any. His $20 million per year is already No. 11 among all wideouts, and he's not a top-10 guy right now.

The added upside of extending Coop early is that if Deshaun Watson does put it all together and start playing like a Pro Bowler, Cooper's numbers would likely explode and make him a lot more expensive to extend.

Getting out ahead of that would be big for Cleveland's long-term cap situation, because paying a top-end QB contract and a top-end WR contract doesn't leave much room for spending anywhere else on the roster.