In what otherwise appears to be a lost season for the Houston Texans, wide receiver Brandin Cooks continues to impress the rest of the league on a week-by-week basis. The Texans are fielding a roster that is largely devoid of talent in 2021, but Cooks continues to bring his A-game.
Cooks’ heroic efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by head coach David Culley and offensive coordinator Tim Kelly, who continue to pepper Cooks with targets and touches in abundance. Through three games, Cooks has been the recipient of an astounding 32 passing attempts.
General manager Nick Caserio is laying down the building blocks of the future. Part of that process often includes acquiring future draft capital. Houston is several years away from being considered a legitimate contender, and one has to wonder what kind of offers Caserio may receive for Cooks, who currently has a league-high 322 receiving yards.
Here are three teams that should inquire about Cooks' availability.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
This may be Green Bay’s last opportunity to win Aaron Rodgers a much-deserved second Super Bowl title. General manager Brian Gutekunst should consider pushing his chips into the middle of the table by exploring a deal for Cooks.
A second option in the passing game continues to be a yearly issue for the Packers, and the 2021 season has delivered more of the same thus far. Davante Adams is an elite receiver, but the Packers often rely on running back Aaron Jones and tight end Robert Tonyan behind him. 31-year-old Randall Cobb is currently Green Bay’s second-leading wide receiver, having accumulated just 58 yards in two games. Behind him, the Packers continue to bet on the likes of Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard to no avail. The two receivers have combined for a measly 33 yards on five catches through two contests, despite playing a healthy amount of snaps.
This offense needs a legitimate No. 2 receiver in the worst way. A trade for Cooks could elevate this unit to heights we’ve never seen.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Just who exactly is the No. 1 receiver in New Orleans with Michael Thomas out? Through two games, it appears the Saints are still figuring out the answer to that important question.
Through two uneven contests, a third-year undrafted free agent by the name of Deonte Harris is leading the Saints in receiving yards with just 81. At the receiver position specifically, the likes of Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Chris Hogan, and Marquez Callaway trail him with 27, 26 and 22 yards gained. Yikes. That’s not exactly a murderer’s row of competition.
It’s a new era in New Orleans with Jameis Winston taking over as the starting quarterback for the retired Drew Brees. Running back Alvin Kamara is one of the best receiving backs in the league, but general manager Mickey Loomis and head coach Sean Payton need to surround Winston with more options in the passing game if they hope to successfully revive the career of the former No. 1 overall pick.
Cooks, who was originally drafted by New Orleans in the first round back in 2014, would immediately step into the WR1 role.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Dare I suggest the rich get richer?
The Chiefs are on a quest to reach their third straight Super Bowl and I like their chances of doing so. Acquiring a legitimate WR2 behind the speedy Tyreek Hill would increase the likelihood of their continued success.
Hill and Travis Kelce will continue to operate as the 1A and 1B in Kansas City’s explosive offense, but adding another receiving threat like Cooks would give Patrick Mahomes arguably the best trio of pass-catching weapons the league has to offer.
Several contenders in the AFC attempted to bulk up their offense this offseason in hopes of beating the Chiefs at their own game. General manager Brett Veach could deliver the ultimate counterpunch by trading for Cooks.