Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry pulled off the steal of the 2022 offseason when he acquired wide receiver Amari Cooper for the low price of a fifth-round draft pick.
Cooper immediately claimed the No. 1 spot among Cleveland’s wide receivers and led the team in receptions (78), receiving yards (1,160) and receiving touchdowns (nine) while posting the sixth 1,000-yard receiving year of his career.
He did that while navigating the midseason transition of quarterbacks from Jacoby Brissett to Deshaun Watson, and while dealing with a core muscle injury that he suffered prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 14.
can't wait for that Watson ➡️ Cooper connection pic.twitter.com/GQAj3dI6aZ— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) April 18, 2023
The injury limited Cooper during practice, taking away time that he could have worked with Watson, but Cooper was still able to play all 17 games and posted a three-touchdown effort against the Washington Commanders in the season’s penultimate game.
There will be plenty of opportunities for Cooper and Watson to work together this summer, however, after Cooper underwent surgery in February to repair his injury. The surgery has an estimated recovery time of eight weeks, and Cooper said on Tuesday that everything is progressing nicely (quote via The Beacon Journal):
“It went well. The recovery went well. I’m like on the eighth week of it now, so I feel good. I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I’m excited to get the work to build, to get better chemistry with Deshaun. It just continues to get better.”
The Browns will be relying on Cooper to once again be the lead wide receiver in 2023, and now that he is injury free and will have a full season to work with Watson, the return on their investment should look even stronger this season.