Amari Cooper ready to grow into role of team leader

Amari Cooper turned 28 earlier this month. He’s not old, but he’s the second-oldest receiver on the roster with Jakeem Grant Sr. 20 months older.

That leaves Cooper in an unfamiliar position of the old guy in the receivers room.

The nine other receivers on the team’s roster are 24 or younger.

“That’s the position I’m in now,” Cooper said, via Anthony Poisal of the team website. “These guys look at me like an old guy. They pay a lot of attention to detail, and they know the importance of coming in every day and knowing their stuff and trying to perfect everything they do.”

Cooper arrived in a trade with the Cowboys, with the Browns giving up a fifth-round choice and swapping sixth-round picks. It appears a steal for the Browns as he becomes the best receiver on the roster.

Cooper, though, is not your typical receiver. Instead, as second-year player Anthony Schwartz already has discovered, Cooper is quiet and laidback.

Cooper vows to use his voice more now that he’s the elder statesman.

“A lot of leadership comes with experience and age,” Cooper said. “It becomes easier and easier over time because, from what I see now, leadership is just experience. It’s so easy to lead once you have that experience because everything these young guys are going through, you either went through it or saw someone else previously on the team go through it, and you saw how the outcome was.”

Cooper, the fourth overall choice of the Raiders in 2015, has had five 1,000-yard seasons in his seven seasons. But he made only 68 receptions for 865 yards in 2021, though he did score eight touchdowns.