Tension Growing Between Steelers Rival and Star WR

The drama is high between the Pittsburgh Steelers AFC North rival and their top wideout.
Dec 24, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Amari Cooper (2) on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 24, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Amari Cooper (2) on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently looking for a wide receiver deal, but to this point, they haven't found one. Meanwhile, their AFC North opponents are dealing with their own in-house wideout situation - and it appears tensions are growing.

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Amari Cooper is coming off a 1,200-yard season with five touchdowns, but is also entering the final year of his current contract. At 30-years-old, he's seeking a new deal, and while both sides are in some agreeance, they are hitting a cross roads with negotiations.

According to Orange and Brown Report's Brad Stainbrook, the two sides seem to be close when it comes to the financial side of a contract, but the length is drawing problems. Stainbrook reports that Cleveland is not willing to give Cooper an extension, but rather are just looking to increase his salary for 2024.

"The Browns are willing to give Cooper an increased salary for this season. The sticking point is the length of the deal," Stainbrook writes.

Cooper is already set to make $23.776 million this season but will hit free agency at the end of the 2024 campaign. The Browns have several contracts to deal with, including their fully-guaranteed deal for quarterback Deshaun Watson, which they'll pay $63 million this season and just under $64 million next season.

Myles Garrett is also set to take up $20 million this season.

Cooper has had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons since joining the Browns in 2022, with 14 touchdowns under his belt.

The team added Elijah Moore last season and traded for Jerry Jeudy this offseason, who they signed to a three-year, $52.5 million contract extension following a swap with the Denver Broncos.

Cooper skipped mandatory minicamp due to negotiations and could be a training camp holdout if no deal gets done before the team returns in July.

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Noah Strackbein

NOAH STRACKBEIN

Noah is the Publisher for All Steelers, Inside the Panthers (InsideThePanthers.com) and Inside the Penguins (InsidethePenguins.com), and is the host of All Steelers Talk (YouTube.com/AllSteelersTalk). A Scranton native, Noah made his way to the Pittsburgh sports scene in 2017. Now, he's pretty much full-yinzer.