The Houston Texans seemed to have a deal in place to send Brandin Cooks to the Dallas Cowboys ahead of Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline.
Finances and other factors played a role in the multi-time 1,000-yard receiver remaining in Houston past the deadline. Currently existing on a team that’s won just one game this season, Cooks voiced his displeasure on social media once the NFL trade deadline passed.
“Don’t take a man’s kindness for granted. Covered for the lies for too long those days are done. Crossed the line with playing with my career.”Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks on Twitter
It’s now being noted that Cooks has not practiced since the deadline for personal reasons. There’s a darn good chance that he decides to simply work out a new contract with the Texans in order to help facilitate a release. It would be no different than what happened with Odell Beckham Jr. and the Cleveland Browns when he ultimately landed with the Los Angeles Rams roughly a year ago.
If someone of Cooks’ ilk were to hit the free-agent market at this stage in the season, the number of contending teams interested in his services wouldn’t be limited to one or two. Below, we look at five ideal landing spots for the star pass-catcher.
Green Bay Packers finally add a proven receiver to the mix
The trade deadline passed without Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst finding Aaron Rodgers another weapon in the passing game. Green Bay offered up a second-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for Chase Claypool before he was dealt to the division-rival Chicago Bears. The team also refused to meet Denver’s asking price of a second-round pick and change for Jerry Jeudy.
To say that this might not sit well with Rodgers would be an understatement. In fact, he was vocal heading into the trade deadline about Green Bay needing to add talent to the mix.
- Brandin Cooks stats (2015-21): 520 receptions, 7,367 yards, 43 TD, 65% catch rate
This seven-year span saw Cooks average 74 receptions for north of 1,000 yards. He’d immediately come in and be the Packers’ most-proven receiver. It’s a necessity with the team facing the real possibility of its first five-game losing streak since all the way back in 2008.
New York Giants go big-game hunting with Brandin Cooks
We’re surprised the Giants didn’t make a single move at wide receiver outside of trading former first-round pick Kadarius Toney ahead of the trade deadline. Despite a recent loss to the Seattle Seahawks, this team sits at 6-2 and is 2.5 games up on the Los Angeles Rams for the final wild card spot in the NFC.
At issue here is a lack of proven receiver talent for quarterback Daniel Jones. Among players at this position, Richie James leads the team with 20 receptions for less than 200 yards. Darius Slayton is second with 16 catches. Unlike other teams, New York might be able to offer Cooks a multi-year deal at his current market value. That could change the dynamics, too.
Baltimore Ravens provide Lamar Jackson with another target
Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta was active ahead of the deadline, acquiring All-Pro linebacker Roquan Smith from the Chicago Bears in a blockbuster trade. While linebacker might have been a need, we’re surprised that Baltimore didn’t use these assets to bring on another reeciver for Lamar Jackson.
Head coach John Harbaugh noted recently that No. 1 receiver Rashod Bateman will be out a few weeks with a foot injury. Outside of Bateman, only Devin Duvernay has been a consistent force in the Ravens’ passing game at wide receiver.
Given the fact that it wouldn’t cost anything to acquire Brandin Cooks from an asset standpoint, we expect Baltimore to kick the tires on him should the veteran hit the open market.
San Francisco 49ers make another move
Fresh off the acquisition of All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey from the Carolina Panthers, these 49ers are looking like legitimate contenders. Head coach Kyle Shanahan also made it clear that the team is willing to consider other additions, including the possibility of bringing in Odell Beckham Jr.
Here’s what we do know. San Francisco faced Cooks during his two-year stint with the Rams back in 2018 and 2019. It understands full well what he brings to the table. The idea of adding him to the mix with McCaffrey, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk might be too hard for the 49ers to pass up on. They are going all in. This would be an all-in move.
Dallas Cowboys reel in Brandin Cooks
As noted abocve, Dallas nearly acquired Cooks from the Texans ahead of Tuesday’s deadline. As sources put it, the deal got too “complicated.” In reality, it was all about the finances with Cooks set to count $18 million against the cap for an acquiring team. Obviously, that wouldn’t be the case if he were released.
- Brandin Cooks stats (2021): 32 receptions, 354 yards, 1 TD, 60% catch
Despite somewhat of a down start to the 2022 season, Cooks would still rank second on the Cowboys in both receptions and yards, behind CeeDee Lamb. Adding him to the mix to go with Lamb and Michael Gallup would be a major boon for Dak Prescott and Dallas’ passing game. That’s for sure.