Kevin Stefanski Addresses Amari Cooper's Minicamp Absence for First Time

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski wasn't caught off guard by the star wide receiver's absence from minicamp.
Cleveland Browns OTA Offseason Workouts
Cleveland Browns OTA Offseason Workouts / Nick Cammett/GettyImages

The Cleveland Browns kicked off the final phase of offseason workouts Tuesday with mandatory minicamp. The minicamp is the last opportunity coaches will get to work with players before the real action begins next month at training camp.

However, the Browns were dealt an interesting hand to start the minicamp as veteran wide receiver Amari Cooper was absent from the first practice on Tuesday. Cooper is entering the last year of a five-year, $100 million extension he signed in 2020 with the Dallas Cowboys.

The 29-year-old wide receiver is likely looking for a new deal, especially with an abundance of receivers across the league getting paid and coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the Browns.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski was asked about Cooper’s absence by reporters and told them it was not excused, per Daryl Ruiter. However, Stefanski said there has been communication between the team and the veteran’s camp, so the absence wasn’t a surprise.

Based on what Stefanski said to the media, Browns fans can take a huge sigh of relief as it seems like they understand what Cooper potentially wants in a new deal and are discussing things with him.

The Browns would love to lock Cooper in for the foreseeable future, especially if they have hopes and dreams of competing for the AFC North. Last season, the 29-year-old wideout played a huge role in the Browns making a playoff push with Joe Flacco under center.

The 6-foot-1 receiver recorded 72 receptions (128 targets) for 1,250 yards and five touchdowns, including a historic Week 16 performance against the Houston Texans (11 receptions for 265 yards and two touchdowns).

After having another stellar performance in 2023, it would be imperative for the Browns’ front office and Cooper’s representation to come to a middle ground on a new deal before training camp next month.

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