If there’s one person in the NFL who likely isn’t fazed by offseason trade rumors, it’s probably Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Already having been traded three times in his eight-year pro career, Cooks could soon be on the move again.
One of the teams who’s rumored to have interest in the speedy wideout are the Cleveland Browns, who have already traded for one veteran 1,000-yard receiver by acquiring Amari Cooper. Now that they’ve also landed Deshaun Watson, the front office may be looking to add one of his former teammates to the roster.
Do the Cleveland Browns have the trade assets for a Brandin Cooks deal?
According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Browns are working to add to their receiver corps and have reached out about the availability of Cooks. One of the perceived issues with getting a trade agreed to is that the Browns don’t have a lot of draft capital after unloading five picks for Watson.
Many teams have inquired about Cooks, but as Cabot points out, the Texans are seeking a second-round pick for the 28-year-old pass-catcher. The issue there is, if the Browns part with their 2022 second-round selection, pick No. 44, they won’t have a pick until No. 78 in this year’s draft.
Could the Browns try and send their 2023 second-round pick for Cooks? They certainly could, but as of now the Browns are without their top selection and their third-round pick in 2023 as well from the Watson trade. No matter how you slice it, they’re light on draft capital and may not want to cough up another precious selection for a player they will need to pay right away.
- Brandin Cooks contract: $16.2 million cap number in 2022, contract voids in 2023
Because of the asking price, the Browns are unlikely to reach a deal, as Cabot says in her article. Now the Texans could likely find another trade partner for the talented receiver, perhaps one who is willing to part with their second-round pick, or maybe they’ve already discovered the price is too much. It’s still possible for the Browns to re-enter negotiations, possibly even offering a player in return to sweeten the deal.
Either way, they’re looking to add to their WR room and have identified Cooks as a potential fit. This makes sense based on the year Cooks had with Watson in Houston during the 2020 season. Not to mention, Cooks has only ever had two years without putting up 1,000 yards. He appears to be a strong fit for any offense and has proven that by fitting in seamlessly in four different atmospheres already.
- Brandin Cooks stats (2021): 90 receptions, 1,037 yads, 6 TD, 67% catch rate
Don’t be surprised if Cooks ends up in a new city before the 2022 season begins. He doesn’t exactly fit Houston’s competitive timeline (if they have one), and he can help another team reach the playoffs, or at least get close. After losing the Super Bowl twice, you can bet Cooks is hungry for another chance at chasing a title.