Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks has reiterated his interest in being traded this offseason. Cooks initially put forth a trade request during the season but wasn’t dealt before the NFL trade deadline. Nothing has changed for Cooks.
“I’m not going into this offseason thinking I want to be a part of a rebuild,” Brandin Cooks said Monday.
The Texans fired head coach Lovie Smith on Sunday after just one season. The Texans possess the No. 2 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Texans are expected to select a quarterback such as Bryce Young, Will Levis, or C.J. Stroud. A new coach and quarterback guarantee the Texans will be rebuilding.
We’ve identified three potential landing spots for Cooks via trade.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Could a reunion between Cooks and the Patriots become a reality? The Patriots are currently scheduled to possess $49.7 million in cap space this offseason, per Spotrac. The Patriots’ wide receiver room will undergo a makeover. Both Jakobi Meyers and Nelson Agholor are set to become unrestricted free agents. Bill Belichick must begin considering alternative options such as trading for Cooks.
Belichick coached Cooks in 2017 before trading him to the Los Angeles Rams. Cooks enjoyed a 1,000-yard receiving season with the Patriots. Both Matt Patricia and Joe Judge were on that 2017 Patriots staff, and they’ve since returned to Foxboro in offensive coaching roles. The Patriots went 13-3 and advanced to the Super Bowl that season.
Mac Jones is entering a crucial third season in 2023. Jones deserves to be surrounded by more offensive weapons. Cooks would provide Jones with a legitimate No. 1 receiver.
The Ravens averaged 178.8 passing yards per contest throughout the 2022 regular season. They finished the campaign as the league’s 28th-ranked passing offense. The Ravens are postseason bound, but it’s not good enough to contend with the likes of the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, and Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC.
The status of quarterback Lamar Jackson looms large. The Ravens possess nearly $49 million in cap space. Jackson is scheduled to be a free agent. Even if the Ravens choose to re-sign Jackson, which they should, it’ll be to a long-term contract extension that lowers Jackson’s 2023 cap charge. General manager Eric DeCosta should maintain enough financial flexibility to improve the weapons around Jackson.
Rashod Bateman hasn’t stayed consistently healthy enough to develop into Baltimore’s No. 1 receiver. The Ravens will remain a run-first offense as long as Jackson is under center. Improving their passing attack remains imperative. Cooks would help the Ravens achieve that goal.
NEW YORK GIANTS
The 9-7-1 Giants continue to defy logic. Many expected the Giants to contend for the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. Brian Daboll’s Giants responded to such low expectations by qualifying for the postseason.
Daboll’s scheme has helped starting quarterback Daniel Jones oversee a productive offense despite a lack of dynamic weapons at receiver. Jones is scheduled for free agency, but is expected to be franchise tagged or signed to a short-term extension. The Giants possess approximately $56.7 million in cap space, ranking them in the top three of cap space.
Running back Saquon Barkley will also command a long-term extension, but the Giants could create additional cap space via releases and restructures. Cooks doesn’t want to be a part of a rebuild. The Giants aren’t rebuilding, they’re preparing for a potentially shocking postseason run. Acquiring Brandin Cooks would provide Jones with a sure-handed receiver in 2023.