Amari Cooper

Browns Open To Extending WR Amari Cooper?

Deshaun Watson‘s two-year tenure with the Browns has not gone as planned, but Amari Cooper has proven to be an effective addition to the team’s offense over that same span. The latter has one year remaining on his contract, setting himself up for a potential free agent period in 2025.

However, he may have a new Browns deal in place by that point. Cleveland general manager Andrew Berry recently spoke about Cooper, who is set to carry a cap hit of $23.78MM in 2024 and an additional $7.55MM the following season due to the void years present on his deal.

“Coop’s a Pro Bowl caliber receiver,” Berry said (via Keith Britton of 92.3 The Fan). “He’s played really well for us the past two years. He’s a strong presence in the locker room. We love him. Players like that, you want to make sure that you can retain as long as possible.”

No reports have indicated player or team are eyeing a round of contract talks in Cooper’s case. Given Berry’s stance, though, it would certainly come as little surprise if negotiations took place aimed at keeping the 29-year-old in the fold for years to come. Cooper has produced a 150-2,410-14 statline between his two Browns campaigns, operating as the team’s clear-cut top receiving option. That is noteworthy considering Cleveland’s efforts to trade for Calvin Ridley before ultimately sending the Cowboys a fifth-round pick (along with a swap of sixth-rounders) to acquire Cooper.

The five-time Pro Bowler will still face major expectations in 2024 considering his pedigree, but Cleveland has made a major addition at the WR spot. The Browns brought in Jerry Jeudy this offseason, acquiring the former Broncos first-rounder for a pair of Day 3 picks. That move was followed in short order by a restructure along with a three-year extension being worked out, the value of which could reach $58MM.

As a result of the investment made in Jeudy (along with Watson and tight end David Njoku, who is on the books for two more seasons), a new Cooper deal would further complicate the Browns’ financial picture on offense. The latter is due $20MM this season, and an extension would no doubt keep him near the top of the receiver market. Plenty of time remains for negotiations to take place, and it will be interesting to see if either party proceeds in that direction during the offseason or as the 2024 campaign unfolds.

Browns Attempted To Acquire Calvin Ridley In 2022

It took some moving parts for Amari Cooper to end up in Cleveland. In addition to the Cowboys determining his contract would no longer fit on their payroll, Cooper’s Browns arrival also looks to have been contingent on trade talks with the Falcons falling through.

Before the Browns turned their attention to Cooper in March 2022, they were one of the teams in on Calvin Ridley, according to’s Albert Breer. A Ridley-Eagles “what if?” also represents one of the wide receiver dominoes from a significant offseason in the position’s history; the Browns now loom here as well.

The Eagles nearly acquired Ridley before his suspension surfaced, but the Browns engaged with the Falcons on a deal as well. The team expected Chris Godwin and Mike Williams to be franchise-tagged, Breer adds. Only Godwin was, but Williams re-signed with the Chargers on a deal that matched Cooper’s 2020 terms (three years, $60MM) just before the 2022 free agency period. This took pieces off the table for the Browns, who were moving into position to trade for Deshaun Watson.

With Ridley off the board due to the suspension, the Browns landed Cooper at a much lower cost compared to what it took the Cowboys to pry him from the Raiders in 2018. The Cowboys, who sent the Raiders a first-round pick for Cooper in 2018, traded him to the Browns for a fifth-rounder and a swap of sixths. Other teams waited to see if the Cowboys would cut Cooper, per Breer, but his contract no longer looks particularly onerous. Jerry Jones said last year Cooper became unrealistic to retain, and the Cowboys have CeeDee Lamb on their extension radar. But the Browns have reaped considerable benefits from what amount to a flier on Cooper last year.

Upon breaking Josh Gordon‘s Browns single-game receiving record (with 265 yards), Cooper soared past his single-season career high Sunday. The ninth-year veteran is now at 1,250, which tops his previous career best of 1,160 — set with the 2022 Browns. Cooper, 29, now has seven 1,000-yard seasons in his career. For a team that has started four quarterbacks, the former top-five pick has been vital to it staying afloat in the playoff race.

The Browns did well to acquire Cooper before the receiver market exploded last year. His five-year, $100MM contract runs through 2024, and it began to look better after the run of receiver extensions that shaped the ’22 offseason. Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill raised the market’s ceiling, which still sits at $30MM per year, and the Eagles started the run on extensions for the 2019 class by giving A.J. Brown $25MM per year and a position-record $56.5MM fully guaranteed. After the likes of Terry McLaurin, Deebo Samuel and D.K. Metcalf signed, Cooper’s $20MM AAV dropped into a tie for 11th at the position. Cleveland has Cooper on a $23.8MM cap number in 2024. An extension, which would drop that figure, is likely on the AFC North team’s radar.

While the Browns and Eagles made their receiver moves during Ridley’s suspension, more clubs entered the Ridley mix before last year’s trade deadline. A few offers came the Falcons’ way, but after the team worked with the suspended wideout, he made his way to the Jaguars in a two-pick trade in which the compensation is not yet final.

The Jags sent a 2023 fifth-rounder and a conditional 2024 pick to the Falcons. That pick has already become a fourth, by virtue of Ridley making Jacksonville’s 53-man roster this year; it would rise to a second if the contract-year pass catcher signs an extension with the Jags. Ridley, 29, has produced an up-and-down season for the Jags, accumulating 871 yards. With Christian Kirk signed through 2025, it will be interesting to see if Jacksonville will be willing to part with a second-round pick by extending Ridley.

Browns WR Amari Cooper Clears Concussion Protocol

After being listed as questionable for Week 14 with a concussion and rib injury, Browns wideout Amari Cooper is expected to play tomorrow against the Jaguars, reports NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Cooper had to overcome a pair of hurdles to play on Sunday. Most notably, Cooper is now out of concussion protocol after receiving his final clearance from an independent neurological consultant, as Rapoport passes along.

The wide receiver has also been dealing with a rib issue. Cooper suffered the injury in Week 12, but subsequent x-rays came up negative for any damage. Cooper still managed to play last weekend against the Rams, hauling in three of his five targets for 34 yards. The wideout was limited to a season-low 23 snaps after having to exit the contest due to his head injury.

Cooper is putting up strong numbers during his second season in Cleveland. The 29-year-old receiver has collected 50 receptions for 799 yards and two touchdowns.

In addition to clearing Cooper, the Browns made a handful of additional moves ahead of tomorrow’s game. The team announced that they’ve elevated quarterback Joe Flacco as a standard gameday practice squad elevation while waiving QB P.J. Walker. The team also activated rookie cornerback Cameron Mitchell from injured reserve.

Browns Notes: Ward, Thompson-Robinson, Cooper, DL

The Browns suffered a loss in Denver today as they continued to deal with significant injuries on both sides of the ball. The team was without star cornerback Denzel Ward to start today’s game after the veteran failed to rally for a second straight week, but they’ll hope that his absence doesn’t extend too far past today.

Ward was able to tough it out last week for a divisional matchup against the Steelers after suffering a neck injury in the prior week’s win over Baltimore. Unfortunately, for Cleveland Ward’s ailments would pile up as he would sustain an unrelated shoulder injury against Pittsburgh. Despite suffering a second injury, Ward was able to finish the game last week.

According to Mary Kay Cabot of, the shoulder injury could potentially keep Ward out for a couple of weeks. The team doesn’t believe that it will require a stay on injured reserve, though, and hope that he’ll be able to make a comeback as soon as next week.

Here are a few other injury updates for the ailing Browns:

  • The hits to Cleveland’s quarterbacks room keep coming as new rookie starter Dorian Thompson-Robinson was forced to leave today’s game with a concussion, per ESPN’s Jake Trotter. The team had not yet activated recent quarterback signee Joe Flacco, so they were required to turn to P.J. Walker as Thompson-Robinson’s backup. Thompson-Robinson may be able to clear concussion protocols in time to start next week’s contest in Los Angeles, but the Browns may need to call up Flacco in order to serve as either a new backup or potentially even a starter if Thompson-Robinson can’t play.
  • Leading wide receiver Amari Cooper was also forced out of today’s loss after suffering a rib injury. Luckily, the X-rays on Cooper’s ribs returned negative, according to Trotter, but bruised ribs can be a nagging injury in football. Cooper’s status on the injury report will be something to watch in the coming week.
  • As if all the above wasn’t enough, the Browns saw two more injuries of note today, these to their defensive line. Firstly, and perhaps most troublingly, Defensive Player of the Year frontrunner Myles Garrett was seen with his left arm in a sling after today’s contest. Garrett reportedly “felt something pop in his shoulder” today, per Cabot, necessitating the sling. According to Trotter, he told reporters that he doesn’t know how significant the injury may be but that he “will get scans in LA.” The team also saw starting defensive tackle Jordan Elliott leave today’s game with an ankle injury. The Browns will hope that Elliott’s injury is a minor one and that they will be able to catch a break from the constant string of recent maladies.

Amari Cooper Aggravates Groin Injury

SEPTEMBER 18: Cooper’s practice setback will not lead to a Monday-night absence. The Browns’ top wideout will play against the Steelers, Rapoport tweets.

SEPTEMBER 16: The Browns may be down a receiver on Monday against the Steelers. Amari Cooper “aggravated” his groin during Saturday’s practice, according to coach Kevin Stefanski (via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport). The wideout is considered questionable for Cleveland’s Week 2 matchup.

After sitting out a practice earlier this week for a maintenance day, the veteran was on the practice field over the past two days. Stefanski said Cooper was injured late during Saturday’s practice before he exited with training staff.

“Aggravated his groin,” Stefanski said (via Mary Kay Cabot of “We brought him inside. We’ll evaluate him over the next 48 hours.”

Despite inconsistent quarterback play, Cooper was productive during his first season in Cleveland. The receiver finished the 2022 campaign with 78 catches for 1,160 yards and nine touchdowns. He played through a hip injury for much of the second half of the season, and he ultimately underwent core muscle surgery this offseason. The veteran had three catches for 37 yards in the season opener.

If Cooper is forced to sit out Monday Night Football, the Browns could turn to veteran Marquise Goodwin or rookie third-round pick Cedric Tillman to soak up some of the snaps next to Donovan Peoples-Jones and Elijah Moore.

Latest On Browns’ WR Corps

There is a lot of confidence around the Browns’ roster heading into the 2023 season. One of the positions of interest, though, is the wide receivers group. Highly dependent on the production of its top two wideouts last year, Cleveland will be paying close attention to the availability of Amari Cooper and the development of other receivers.

Luckily, after offseason surgery for a core muscle injury that had Cooper limping into the offseason, there are reportedly “no concerns from either Cooper or the Browns that he won’t be ready to go for training camp,” according to Chris Easterling of the Akron Beacon Journal. Even with the injury, Cooper delivered a team-leading 78 receptions for 1,160 yards and nine receiving touchdowns. Finally able to have an opportunity to build a rapport in camp with quarterback Deshaun Watson should set Cooper up for a strong second year in Cleveland.

The other top receiving performance for the team last season came via a bit of a breakout year for third-year receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones. The former sixth-round pick recorded career-highs in receptions (61) and receiving yards (839) while also matching his career-high total in touchdowns (3). If Peoples-Jones can take the next step forward in his development in 2023, the Browns could end up with three extremely capable receiving options for Watson in Cooper, Peoples-Jones, and tight end David Njoku.

Following Cooper and Peoples-Jones, the experienced depth disappears and the Browns begin to rely on young players to produce. The first player the Browns will look to is offseason trade acquisition Elijah Moore. After two years with the Jets that contained several hit-or-miss performances, Cleveland will be hoping for a bit more consistency from Moore this year. They can expect him to produce around 500 receiving yards, considering he’s delivered similar numbers in each of his two previous seasons, but if Moore, too, can take a step forward, the Browns’ top three wideouts can be dangerous. The versatility of Cooper and Peoples-Jones combined with the speed of Moore can provide Watson with a diverse set of primary weapons.

A trio of receivers will look to be top contributors behind those three. Free agent addition Marquise Goodwin, second-year receiver David Bell, and third-round rookie Cedric Tillman will all be vying to prove they can contribute in limited opportunities. Bell could find himself on the roster bubble after a disappointing rookie season, but it seems unlikely that they would release the former third-round pick after only one year.

If the Browns only decide to take six receivers on the roster into 2023, Bell will be competing for the sixth spot with veteran Jakeem Grant and Jaelon Darden. Neither Grant nor Darden are likely to add much on offense, but their abilities in the return game could allow Cleveland to trot someone other than Peoples-Jones out there for returns. If the team would prefer the possible offense Bell could add, they could continue utilizing Peoples-Jones in the return game.

This leaves another third-round pick, Anthony Schwartz, in danger of being waived. Over two years, Schwartz has only caught 14 passes for 186 yards and one touchdown. He contributed on kick returns as a rookie, but with others who can fill that role, that doesn’t help his case much. Other receivers Ra’Shaun Henry, Mike Harley Jr., and Daylen Baldwin all face long odds to make the 53-man roster, while last year’s sixth-round pick, Michael Woods II, is expected to miss the entire season after rupturing his Achilles tendon in April.

The Browns will have a few tough decisions to make when deciding just how many receivers to keep going into 2023, but they should feel confident about the weapons they have leading the group. With Cooper expected back healthy and Peoples-Jones and Moore hoping to continue their development, the Browns could be providing Watson with a talented top group of targets.

Largest 2023 Cap Hits: Offense

The NFL’s salary cap once again ballooned by more than $10MM, rising from its $208.2MM perch to $224.8MM. Factoring in the pandemic-induced 2021 regression, the NFL’s salary risen has climbed by more than $42MM since 2021.

This has allowed teams more opportunities for roster additions and opened the door for more lucrative player deals — at most positions, at least. However, it does not look like this season will include a $40MM player cap number. The Browns avoided a record-shattering Deshaun Watson $54.9MM hit by restructuring the quarterback’s fully guaranteed contract, calling for monster figures from 2024-26.

Here are the largest cap hits for teams on the offensive side going into training camp:

  1. Patrick Mahomes, QB (Chiefs): $39.69MM
  2. Ryan Tannehill, QB (Titans): $36.6MM
  3. Jared Goff, QB (Lions): $30.98MM
  4. Jake Matthews, T (Falcons): $28.36MM
  5. Trent Williams, T (49ers): $27.18MM
  6. Dak Prescott, QB (Cowboys): $26.83MM
  7. Laremy Tunsil, T (Texans): $26.61MM
  8. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB (49ers): $23.8MM
  9. Amari Cooper, WR (Browns): $23.78MM
  10. Mike Evans, WR (Buccaneers): $23.69MM
  11. Ronnie Stanley, T (Ravens): $23.67MM
  12. Joe Thuney, G (Chiefs): $22.12MM
  13. Russell Wilson, QB (Broncos): $22MM
  14. Lamar Jackson, QB (Ravens): $22MM
  15. Daniel Jones, QB (Giants): $21.75MM
  16. David Bakhtiari, T (Packers): $21.29MM
  17. Kirk Cousins, QB (Vikings): $20.25MM
  18. D.J. Moore, WR (Bears): $20.17MM
  19. Matthew Stafford, QB (Rams): $20MM
  20. Brian O’Neill, T (Vikings): $19.66MM
  21. Taylor Decker, T (Lions): $19.35MM
  22. Deshaun Watson, QB (Browns): $19.1MM
  23. Braden Smith, T (Colts): $19MM
  24. Josh Allen, QB (Bills): $18.64MM
  25. Courtland Sutton, WR (Broncos): $18.27MM

As should be expected, quarterbacks dominate this list. Mahomes’ number checks in here despite the Chiefs restructuring his 10-year, $450MM contract in March; the two-time MVP’s cap hit would have set an NFL record had Kansas City not reduced it. The Chiefs did not restructure Mahomes’ deal last year, but if they do not address it — perhaps via a complex reworking — before next season, Mahomes’ $46.93MM number would break an NFL record.

The Titans have not touched Tannehill’s contract this offseason, one that included some trade rumors months ago. This is the final year of Tannehill’s Tennessee extension. Mahomes and Tannehill sat atop this ranking in 2022.

Cousins is also heading into a contract year, after the Vikings opted for a restructure and not an extension this offseason. Cousins does not expect to discuss another Minnesota deal until 2024, when he is due for free agency. Two relatively low cap numbers have started Wilson’s $49MM-per-year extension. The Denver QB’s cap number rises to $35.4MM in 2024 and reaches historic heights ($55.4MM) by ’25. The subject of a Goff extension has come up, and it would bring down the Lions passer’s figure. But Goff remains tied to his Rams-constructed $33.5MM-per-year deal through 2024.

Jackson and Jones’ numbers will rise in the near future, with the latter’s contract calling for a quick spike in 2024. Next year, the Giants QB’s cap hit will be $45MM. Watson’s 2024 hit, as of now, would top that. The Browns signal-caller is on the team’s ’24 payroll at $63.98MM. Long-term consequences aside, the Browns can be expected to once again go to the restructure well with Watson’s outlier contract.

The Raiders did not backload Garoppolo’s three-year contract; it only climbs to $24.25MM on Las Vegas’ 2024 cap sheet. The Bills did backload Allen’s pact. Its team-friendly years are done after 2023; the six-year accord spikes to $47.1MM on Buffalo’s cap next year. The Cowboys have gone to the restructure well with Prescott. Like Watson, the Cowboys quarterback is tied to a seemingly untenable 2024 cap number. The March restructure resulted in Prescott’s 2024 number rising to $59.46MM. Two seasons remain on that $40MM-AAV extension.

Another notable cap hold that should be mentioned is Tom Brady‘s. When the Buccaneers did not sign the again-retired QB to another contract before the 2023 league year, his $35.1MM dead-money figure went onto Tampa Bay’s 2023 cap sheet. The Bucs will absorb that entire amount this year. Brady’s 2022 restructure, after retirement No. 1, led to the $35.1MM figure forming.

Were it not for another O-line-record extension, the Tunsil number would have come in at $35MM this year. Matthews signed an extension last year. Moore would have come in higher on this list were he still on the Panthers, who took on $14.6MM in dead money to move their top wideout for the No. 1 overall pick. Sutton came up regularly in trade rumors, with the Broncos wanting a second-round pick for the sixth-year veteran. The former second-rounder’s high base salary ($14MM) hinders his trade value.

Browns WR Amari Cooper Back With Team After Surgery

The Browns knew that they’d have to go through part of the offseason without their lead receiver, Amari Cooper, after he underwent core surgery back in February. Luckily for Cleveland, Cooper is already back working with teammates, missing a fairly minimal amount of offseason work, according to Tony Grossi of 850 ESPN Cleveland.

Cooper is a crucial returning member of the Browns offense. After a down 2021 season in Dallas that saw him fail to reach 1,000 receiving yards for the first time since 2017, Cooper rebounded beautifully in Cleveland as a top target for quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Deshaun Watson. He delivered a masterful performance in his age-28 season, catching 78 passes for 1,160 yards and nine touchdowns, leading the team in all three categories.

Cleveland also returns wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones and tight end David Njoku, who ranked second and third on the team in the different receiving categories, but after them, production dropped off dramatically, making Cooper’s presence in the offense that much more crucial. The Browns did trade for former Jets wide receiver Elijah Moore, who had varying levels of success in New York and signed veteran Marquise Goodwin, who has historically been a strong contributor throughout his career. Those additions should take some of the pressure off of young receivers Cedric Tillman (2023 third-round pick out of Tennessee), David Bell, Anthony Schwartz, and Jaelon Darden to be immediate contributors.

The team has also been exploring the possibility of reuniting Watson with his former Houston teammate, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Having a top-three of Hopkins, Cooper, and Peoples-Jones would improve the team’s talent in the room from good to elite. The addition of Hopkins has been deemed “unlikely,” but it’s still apparently on the table. With neither Hopkins nor Cooper, the Browns top-three would be Peoples-Jones, Goodwin, and Bell or Tillman, making Cooper’s return all the more relieving.

Regardless, Cooper is back with plenty of time to get back in shape for the regular season. He’ll be working to get fully healthy while continuing to build on his rapport with Watson in preparation for a full season with Watson behind center.

AFC North Notes: Steelers, Browns, Awuzie

Allen Robinson passing his physical will send him to a fourth NFL team. The Rams will assume much of Robinson’s 2023 payout — as a result of the three-year, $46.5MM deal they authorized in 2022 — and could only offload that contract for a 17-spot jump in the seventh round. The Steelers adjusted Robinson’s contract further before the trade became official, with Ian Rapoport of indicating (via Twitter) the wide receiver will collect a $3.84MM signing bonus from his new team. That will help reduce his cap hit. As for 2024, Rapoport adds Robinson’s base salary will drop from $15MM to $10MM. Two void years are also present on Robinson’s Steelers deal, per OverTheCap, which indicates the 10th-year veteran will be tied to a $5MM cap number this year and a $10MM hit in 2024. While Robinson’s $5MM 2023 salary is locked in, nothing is guaranteed for 2024.

The Steelers sought an experienced option at receiver, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac, due to second-year players George Pickens and Calvin Austin being expected to play significant roles in 2023 (Twitter link). Robinson will join Diontae Johnson, who is going into his fifth season, as veteran options. This might lead to the Steelers addressing other positions with their Day 2 draft capital; the team has taken eight wideouts on the draft’s second day since 2013.

Here is the latest from the AFC North:

  • Four years after working together on a dysfunctional Browns team, Odell Beckham Jr. and Todd Monken reunited with the Ravens. Beckham said he and the recently hired Baltimore OC have a great relationship. In 2019, however, Monken served as a non-play-calling OC under Freddie Kitchens, who was fired after one season. Midway through that disappointing Browns slate,’s Mary Kay Cabot notes Beckham initiated a clear-the-air meeting with Monken in an effort to move parties onto the same page. Browns wideouts perceived Kitchens and the team’s QBs at the time to be “cliquey,” and the disconnect led to shouting matches between wideouts and coaches. The Browns disbanded the Beckham-Baker Mayfield partnership midway through the 2021 season. Although Monken ran the offensive meetings during the week in 2019, Cabot adds the future Georgia staffer did not have much play-calling input. The Ravens will count on Monken, who now has a third NFL OC opportunity, and OBJ to elevate their offense next season.
  • Amari Cooper may miss some offseason time due to a core surgery he underwent this offseason. Cooper did not miss any games last season, but Cabot adds he underwent this procedure in February. Kevin Stefanski said the team will not rush Cooper back, so it stands to reason the ninth-year wideout may not be a full OTAs participant. Cooper, 28, put together his sixth 1,000-yard season in 2022; two years remain on his Cowboys-constructed contract.
  • It might take a bit longer for Chidobe Awuzie to return to work with the Bengals. The veteran cornerback suffered a torn ACL during a Halloween matchup against the Browns. He is targeting a return by Week 1, Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. The Bengals no longer have Eli Apple under contract, but they signed Sidney Jones in free agency. Jones joins Mike Hilton and Cam Taylor-Britt as the top healthy Bengal corners. One season remains on Awuzie’s deal.
  • While the Steelers gave Bud Dupree a physical, Dulac notes the former Pittsburgh first-rounder’s free agency visit did not include contract talks. Dupree, who played for the Steelers from 2015-20, signed a one-year, $3MM deal with the Falcons last week. A number of veteran edge rushers — Yannick Ngakoue, Frank Clark, Leonard Floyd and Jadeveon Clowney among them — remain unsigned. The Steelers will likely be seeking a low-cost option to be their third edge rusher behind T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. Malik Reed held that role last year; Reed has since joined the Dolphins.

AFC North Rumors: Ojabo, Cooper, Watson, Jackson

The Ravens‘ pass rush could receive a huge boost today as rookie second-round pick David Ojabo is reportedly set to make his NFL debut, according to Rich Eisen of NFL Network. The Score’s Jordan Schultz first reported Ojabo would be good to go this week.

Ojabo was a first-round talent who dropped to the second round of the draft when he suffered a torn Achilles while performing in his pro day at Michigan. Playing across from No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson, Ojabo was impressive in his own right, nearly matching Hutchinson blow-for-blow with 11 sacks and 12 tackles for loss to Hutchinson’s 14 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss.

The Ravens took the value pick, knowing that Ojabo likely wouldn’t debut for the team until late in the year and hoping it would help gear up the defense for a playoff run. The team designated Ojabo to return from the reserve/non-football injury list at the same time as they designated outside linebacker Tyus Bowser to return from the reserve/physically unable to perform list in mid-October. Both players were officially activated from their respective lists on November 1.

Both moves were announced shortly after Baltimore acquired Roquan Smith in a trade with the Bears. Bowser and Smith have already debuted for the Ravens this season, and the additions have been significant. Adding Ojabo to the mix give the Ravens a linebacking corps that consists of Smith, Patrick Queen, Bowser, Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Houston, Odafe Oweh, and Ojabo, among others. A unit that appeared to be a weakness heading into the season is now overloaded with talent.

Here are a few other rumors concerning the two teams in the AFC North that will face off later today:

  • Browns veteran wide receiver Amari Cooper has reportedly been dealing with a core muscle injury. The team’s top receiver has been playing through the injury, according to Mary Kay Cabot of, and hasn’t considered the prospect of potential surgery in the offseason. Losing Cooper would be detrimental for Cleveland. Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones account for 80% of the catches and nearly 86% of the receiving yards by Browns receivers. Cleveland wideouts have caught eight total touchdowns this season; Cooper has accounted for seven of them. Cooper has struggled to find chemistry so far this year with new starting quarterback Deshaun Watson. In two games with Watson behind center, Cooper has six catches for 82 yards.
  • Speaking of the Browns’ new starting passer, Watson has continued his mandatory treatment program, despite his 11-game suspension coming to an end. A report two weeks ago detailed that sources have claimed Watson has shown “signs of progress” during the program, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. The program is confidential, so the laymen are not privy to the details of his treatment. A source with knowledge of the program told Schefter, “(Watson)’s been progressing well and he wants to continue with it.” The team, league, and Players Association feel it’s helping him, and he’ll continue treatment until it’s been determined that it’s no longer needed, which, reportedly, “could take a while.”
  • Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson will miss his second straight game with a PCL sprain today, allowing backup quarterback Tyler Huntley to make his second consecutive start. The team is hopeful, though, that Jackson will be back at practice this week, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The Ravens remain hopeful that he may even play on Christmas Eve against the Falcons.
  • The Ravens will lose a staffer at the end of the year as defensive assistant Ryan Osborn is set to become the defensive coordinator at Charlotte at the conclusion of the season. Osborn works closely with the outside linebackers and defensive linemen for Baltimore. He held a similar role last year as a defensive analyst at the University of Michigan, before following defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald to Baltimore. Osborn was a key proponent in helping Hutchinson and Ojabo get drafted as highly as they were and has done an admirable job of piecing together a strong pass rush for a Ravens team that has dealt with injuries at the position.