Browns land WR Cooper in trade with Cowboys – 95.5 WSB

CLEVELAND — (AP) — The Browns weren’t willing to wait for free agency or the NFL Draft to get their No. 1 wide receiver.

Cleveland general manager Andrew Berry responded to his club’s greatest need on Saturday by agreeing to acquire Amari Cooper in a trade with the Dallas Cowboys, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Saturday.

The Browns would send a 2022 fifth- and sixth-round draft pick to Dallas for Cooper, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because teams cannot close the deal until the start of the season. new year of the league on wednesday. ESPN was first to report the proposed trade.

Cooper would give the Browns a deep threat, filling the void left when Odell Beckham Jr. forced his release last season. He would be a prime target for quarterback Baker Mayfield, assuming he returns as a Cleveland starter after an injury-altered season.

The Cowboys intended to deal Cooper, who signed a five-year, $100 million contract extension in 2019 and hasn’t produced as Dallas had hoped. He was likely to be released if the Cowboys couldn’t get a deal done, and the Browns jumped at the chance to land the 27-year-old before he hit the market.

Cooper has spent the past four seasons with Dallas. He had 68 catches for 865 yards and eight touchdowns in 2021. A three-time Pro Bowler, he had five 1,000-yard seasons as a pro — two with Dallas, two with the Raiders and the season he parted ways. with both teams after marketed in 2018.

He would immediately move to the top of Cleveland’s depth chart, and his addition would likely cause the Browns to focus on other free agency needs and perhaps a defensive player instead of a receiver with the No. 13 pick in this year’s draft.

Once Beckham left in November, the Browns found themselves without an experienced receiver capable of stretching defenses. Additionally, No. 2 wide receiver Jarvis Landry suffered a knee injury in Week 2 and struggled the rest of the season, posting career lows in catches, yards and touchdowns while also struggling. missing five games.

Landry’s days with Cleveland seemed numbered. Shortly after agreeing to get Cooper, the Browns gave Landry permission to seek a trade, the person said. He’s expected to make $15.1 million next season, and his salary cap is $16.379 million, so the Browns could save nearly $15 million on their cap by trading or releasing Landry.

The five-time Pro Bowler has played a vital role in improving the culture of the Browns, and it’s not out of the question that he could stay if he restructures his contract.

Cleveland can still add more receiving depth through free agency or in a draft loaded with talented prospects. At this point, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Anthony Schwartz are their only other proven players in this position.

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