Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns, NFL

Browns Top Target Amari Cooper MIA for Mandatory Minicamp

This is supposed to be The Year of Deshaun Watson for the Cleveland Browns. Or at least the year that Watson actually proves to be worth all that money the Browns are paying him, and all those assets they gave up to get him. So far, it's not been the case. Watson has been hurt or just downright inconsistent.

Anyway, it won't help if Watson doesn't have veteran receiver Amari Cooper, theoretically his top target (though tight end David Njoku could make a case). And bad news for Watson — Cooper has decided to take an unexcused absence from the Browns' mandatory minicamp.

As is usually the case in these situations, Cooper's absence seems to revolve around money matters. Browns coach Kevin Stefanski would not confirm that's been the case, but as ESPN noted, Stefanski did say that the team is having "dialogue" with Copper's agent.

"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," wrote Daniel Oyefusi of ESPN.

"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."

In other words, Cooper wants some cash. The Browns may give it to him. We don't know. Watson told reporters he wants him there.

"He's the best in the league," Watson said. "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."

Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns, NFL