Rams Trade Brandin Cooks To Texans

The Texans have agreed to send a second-round pick to the Rams in exchange for wide receiver Brandin Cooks and a future fourth-round choice, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. With that, the Texans have found their replacement for DeAndre Hopkins while holding on to the second-round pick they acquired from the Cardinals. 

Cooks, interestingly enough, was shipped from the Patriots to the Rams roughly two years ago today. The well-traveled 26-year-old still has tons of potential, especially now that he’s in Deshaun Watson‘s offense. The biggest question mark, perhaps, is Cooks’ health. He has a history of concussions and one more bad blow could put his career in jeopardy.

Cooks, a 2014 first-round pick, emerged as a top-end wide receiver in 2015 when he racked up 84 catches, 1,138 yards, and nine scores. In 2017, the Saints shipped Cooks and a fourth-rounder to the Patriots for first- and third-round choices. After one year, the thrifty Pats sent him to the Rams, allowing L.A. to give him his payday. Now, he’ll continue on his five-year, $80MM deal with the Texans.

Even with Hopkins out of the picture, the Texans’ offense still projects to be a potent one. With Watson under center, their starting lineup will feature Cooks, Will Fuller, Randall Cobb, and Kenny Stills as their top receivers. Meanwhile, David Johnson and Duke Johnson will be in the backfield, with blocking specialist Darren Fells up front.

In exchange for Cooks, the Rams will receive the No. 57 overall pick in this month’s draft. Given the depth of this year’s crop, it might not be hard for them to fill the void at wide receiver. They’ll also gain some extra breathing room by unloading Cooks’ contract.

The Texans will take on the rest of his multi-year pact, which calls for an $8MM base salary in 2020. After that, he’s set to earn escalating salaries of $12MM, $13MM, and $14MM until 2023.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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112 comments on “Rams Trade Brandin Cooks To Texans

    • jkoms57

      Fire OBrien!!!!!

      – fan who didnt understand how obnoxiously ignorant and distracting Hopkins was.

      • Michael Chaney

        Yeah but he’s also arguably the best receiver in football, and if he isn’t then he’s close.

        I’m a Browns fan and I’ve heard the same things about OBJ, but the difference is that Hopkins is pretty much matchup-proof. Hopkins puts up huge numbers every week no matter what, so even if he’s a little bit of a diva, oh well.

        • jkoms57

          AB is still the best reciever in football.. hes just not in the NFL and never got a ring

          • Michael Chaney

            If you’re comparing what Hopkins does to AB’s antics then I need you to grab something off the top shelf for me since you’re so good at reaching

        • rgreen

          What makes the return for Hopkins look bad,is the return Minnesota got for Diggs.And people considering David Johnson damaged goods.But Buffalo just might’ve overpaid to get Diggs,and if David Johnson returns to 80% of what he was 3 years ago,this trade could end up not looking as bad as people make it out to be.And O’Brien had Carlos Hyde looking good last year,and he’s had as many injuries attached to him as anyone.

          • jkoms57

            Diggs didnt want an extension that makes him the highest paid reciever in the league

            • rgreen

              You do realize I’m arguing that Houston and Bill O’Brien getting blown up over this trade,is an overreaction.

              With that said though,Diggs wouldn’t have a leg to stand on,if he was seeking that type of restructure or extension.Hopkins is actually in the conversation for best receiver in the league,and his salary is in the same neighborhood as Diggs.

    • MIKEDJR1018

      The Saints knew that in 2017 and traded him to the Pats and picked up a future an All Pro RT(Ramczyk) with the 32nd pick. Cooks is overrated!

  1. highplainsdriftr

    BOB trying to save face. Might not have been a bad play in the end. Why does nobody want Cooks? Just concussions?

  2. Afk711

    Solid deal for the Rams. Gets rid of a big contract and got a decent pick back.

  3. photounit

    Between cooks and Johnson’s salary they would have been better off just giving Hopkins a raise.

    • jkoms57

      They didnt want him on their practice field or around the team anymore.

      Not hard to understand.

  4. GoldenJabs

    There’s a reason he keeps getting moved around the league. Teams are routinely disappointed with his lack of effort. Unless the play is designed for him, he’s a slouch.

  5. braveshomer

    whoa whoa whoa lol?!…you swapped 1 Wide Receiver with 5yr/81mil for another Wide receiver with 5/81….I know Hopkins wanted more money but BOB traded his butt out of ego smh

  6. tjbarnaba

    BOB just got out of paying Hopkins an extension and landed a player already signed long term. Smoother move than he’ll get credit for considering 2% of fans understand the cap

    • braveshomer

      they literally signed the same size contract I believe and only a year apart….plus i like Cooks but gimme Hopkins all day

    • Afk711

      He traded an elite high paid WR for an above average high paid WR. He doesn’t get credit for downgrading to save miniscule cap space.

      • tjbarnaba

        You realize Hopkins is asking to be extended and made the highest paid WR in football with multiple years left on his deal? That’s bad for the locker room and bad for business. You guys would be great team builders!!

        • Afk711

          Ok Bill O’Briens burner. Hopkins is one of the best so he will ask to be paid like it. Cooks is good but no where near worth what he gets paid. A smart team builder would pay more for better production.

            • Afk711

              LOL only one treating this like fantasy football is you Bill. Trading Hpokins for Cooks, Johnson and a couple 4ths is a comical backwards move only some desperate fantasy player would make. Cooks has a bigger cap hit than Hopkins from 2021-22. It only saves them 4 million this year which does nothing for them. Oh an this is the most loaded WR class ever so the Rams are about to replace Cooks with a player who someone who will peak around million per year. Oh and lets look at the WRs traded for 1st round picks recently: Cooks x2, Cooper, OBJ and Diggs. Hopkins is better than all of them and he didn’t even get a 1st. Nice going bill!

                • Afk711

                  What ignorance? LOL you cant handle facts. Whats funny is your only talking point of “he is a selfish” player isn’t even valid since Diggs who throws tantrums on the field was even able to fetch a 1st in return. Besides no one thinks he is selfish other than you crazy Bill

              • GMB 883

                Not so sure Hopkins is better than OBJ at their best but he’s definitely very good. OBJ is bigger and just as fast. He just needs to play with a top 10/12 QB which has not happened yet.

          • GMB 883

            More but how much more? Hopkins seems like a locker room problem who expects to be paid more than Julio Jones etc. is he worth it? I think we know Belichick would never pay him that much and he has 8 SB’s w/6 as HC. Randy Moss wasn’t the highest paid WR when he was there and they went undefeated (2007) until the SB. Granted Randy was later on in his career.

        • mcmillankmm

          Yeah and then you are stuck with a ton of dead money when he’s not worth it in 3 years

        • Even if what you’re saying is true, BOB still got an atrocious return. Diggs is not as good as Hopkins and the Vikings got a better return. BOB is a fool.

        • rocky7

          tj…you’re not going to get through to all these football brainiacs who will never understand the business end of football….all they know is that even though Hopkins had a contract….with 3 full years remaining on it….he demanded to re-do the deal…or most probably causing dissension in the locker room and a possible holdout when they eventually do go to camp….doesn’t matter that he had a contract and he was the one who demanded that it be multiple years when he signed it….even though in todays NFL, its tough to keep up with the salary escalation….doesn’t matter….he wanted his money or he was going to stay home….and all these commenters think he’s right! Forget logic man…its just doesn’t exist on this site.

          • tjbarnaba

            It’s just sad that these people consider themselves fans yet don’t understand the business of the sport they care about enough to comment on. Ignorance is bliss when it comes to the cap I suppose.

          • GMB 883

            If that’s all true I agree with you. He signed the original contract so he needs to honor it and wait until he’s a FA again unless the team he’s playing for is willing to renegotiate a new one or extension. Seems like a serious premadonna but I guess that’s not news for a star WR in NFL. Bunch of devas. Gets old.

          • Daryl

            How do you know he was gonna holdout? Him & Julio have same agency, & Julio also said he wanted a new deal (w/3 yrs left) yet he didn’t hold out, played, wasn’t a distraction & got his $…Bill obrien is the problem in Houston, wasn’t deandre….all that being said, i understand why he traded him…..

    • bass86


      So essentially Houston traded DeAndre Hopkins for Cooks, David Johnson and two fourth round draft picks. Doesn’t sound too bad

      • And lost cap space. The other teams were basically salary dumping on the Texans. Incredibly stupid since Hopkins is easily the best player of the bunch.

        • rocky7

          And potentially the biggest complainer on the squad and a trendsetter for team salary/contract issues for years to come if the Texans gave in to him…the line would already be forming to re-do contracts based on success….great guy isn’t he!

          • He’s so distracting that it made BOB call plays like an incompetent loser too, right? Hopkins put up great numbers for BOB and is an elite WR who should get near top money. He just has no leverage in his current contract situation. Never heard he was a distraction or complainer until he was traded.

        • bass86

          They got that number two in the DeAndre Hopkins trade. So that’s why I’m not including it. Hence the word essentially

          • wordonthestreet

            No bass they did not trade the pick they got in the trade. They kept that one.

        • goastros123

          This can also start another trend: the Texans not paying players who are worth the money, such as Deshaun Watson. You don’t want your team to go through a trend like that.

      • Fourth round picks are not worth much at all. Would definitely rather have Hopkins than that

        • bass86

          but that’s not the choice. You got Brandon Cooks and David Johnson along with really just one fourth round pick because you did trade a fourth round pick when you traded Hopkins for Johnson.

          no I don’t necessarily believe this is still a good trade for Houston, but it looks a lot better than it did before they made this trade here.

          • GMB 883

            Keep in mind if you would have ended up paying Hopkins as the #1 receiver in NFL that might significantly impact your salary cap to the point you might not be able to pay Dashawn Watson his $ next year when he’s a FA. Can’t afford to lose your QB.

        • tjbarnaba

          Only someone who doesn’t follow the draft would say 4th round picks don’t mean anything. Maxx Crosby had 10 sacks last year as a 4th round pick. Pats are starting a 4th round pick at QB this year. Tony Pollard made a big impact for the Cowboys. Micheal Jordan was the best OL on the Bengals last year. Hunter Renfrow in the 5th with Mack Wilson, a 14 game starter. The mid rounds of the draft are loaded year in and year out for less than a million dollar salary. It’s just embarrassing to follow football and not know this type of stuff. Feel bad for some of you.

          • Daryl

            Tony pollard have 1 & a half good games for dallas, too early to act like it was a great 4th round pick…plus he made some errors in the return game that set up bad field position in some key games…I like the kid, but too early to mention him as a great 4th rd pick….

      • Matthew Heywood

        It’s horrible you are in a worse cap space situation with worse players

  7. phillyballers

    Classic BOB. They could have kept Hopkins and signed Melvin Gordon, giving the difference between Gordon and DJs contract to Hopkins to keep him happy.

    • mcmillankmm

      DJ vs Gordon is only a $4M difference over the 2 years….you think Hopkins only wanted an additional $4M over his 3 years?

    • Simmons>Russ

      Melvin Gordon + Hopkins extension < Cooks + DJ contract + Randall Cobb signing

      Watson Gordon Duke Johnson Hopkins Fuller and Stills would be lethal

      Watson DJ DJ Cooks Fuller Cobb and Stills is more expensive and not as good.

  8. bumpy93

    I was hoping the eagles could land him for a 3rd and 4th or 5th in 2021. just another WR option gone for the eagles, and knowing that teams are gonna try to jump the eagles in the draft or try to rape them in trade up demands knowing Howie needs to get a stud WR in this draft

  9. mcmillankmm

    Damn Cooks and a 4th for a 2nd…everyone going to start talking up O’Brien now?

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      No, it’s still a poor decision process. Hopkins is a better player than Cooks, so they basically downgraded a bit to save some cash in the WR corps. Let’s not forget Johnson isn’t cheap, either. So overall, what did they gain that couldn’t have been accomplished by simply signing or drafting a cheaper RB?

      • mcmillankmm

        But Hopkins wasn’t going to play on his current deal…and if he wanted the same AAV as Cooper you’re talking a raise and extension

        • Matthew Heywood

          So add in cooks and johnson Askari and you give him a raise and still take less of a cap hit

    • dugdog83

      No quite the opposite. Another bad move to cover up his awful move.

      Watsons in trouble.

  10. nentwigs

    In the wake of the Corona Virus Pandemic the Texans announce that they are bringing in new COOKS !!

    • The Mistake of Giving Eugene Melnyk a Liver Transplant

      Yeah that 2nd round pick and cap space are a great pickup by LA!

  11. Simmons>Russ

    Very interesting…
    BOB said he traded Hopkins so he didn’t have to give him an extension because he wants to pay Watson.

    Now he’s traded in for Cooks who is a on a about 16mil (same as Hopkins was) and got David Johnson from the previous trade meaning there’s less money to being with. Plus the Randall Cobb signing means they’ve added to their cap by about 15mil.

    He could’ve just extended Hopkins for 7mil and brought in a RB at around 8mil for the same cost.
    8mil in the RB market could’ve been Malvin Gordon.

    Texans could’ve had Watson Gordon Duke Johnson Hopkins Fuller and Stills and kept everything else the same for the same cost of this offseason…

    Maybe this means they have hit a snag with Tunsil, maybe it means they don’t plan on extending Fuller who knows but BOB seems to be making odd decisions, I hope he has a plan

    • The Mistake of Giving Eugene Melnyk a Liver Transplant

      I forgot about all the money they wasted on Cobb. Should have just given that as the raise to Hopkins

    • mcmillankmm

      Cooks has an $8M cap hit for the Texans in 2020….where did you come up with $16M?

      • mcmillankmm

        Although I guess you can add in Hopkins dead cap of $3M but you’re still short

      • Simmons>Russ

        Sorry last year he was 15mil+ thought it would’ve been that continue but just looked it up 12mil but yeah plus 3mil dead money

        • mcmillankmm

          Usually they do, you’re right….but Rams take on some of the cap hit due to his signing bonus….but yes agreed when it gets to $13M-$14M in years 3 and 4 he probably won’t be worth it unless their offense takes off

  12. Simmons>Russ

    BOB basically traded

    Hopkins for Cooks DJ Randall Cobb and a fourth round pick

    Then said he did it to clear cap space cause Hopkins wanted an extension. So he’s added 16 mil per year into the Texans cap instead of giving Hopkins and extension of about 8mil per year.

    Meaning there would’ve been about 8mil saved which could’ve gone to Melvin Gordon if you wanted a RB

  13. Unfit

    Not that this was necessarily a bad move by LA, but they just don’t have the talent to legit compete against Seattle and SF. They need an infusion of talent have have few assets.

  14. axisofhonor25

    So not only are the Texans getting rid of Hopkins. It they also want to mortgage some their future. If they were willing to take on Cooks and the rest of his contract you might as well as went and gave Hopkins that money.

  15. ThePeople'sElbow

    love how all these keyboard ninja have insider knowledge that DeHop was gonna holdout. Dude had 3 years left on his contract, you think he’s gonna pull a LeVeon Bell?

    But it’s so easy for Texans to buy a bill of goods.

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      Also, doesn’t the new CBA have language where guys not on rookie deals pretty much can’t hold out now?

      • mcmillankmm

        Hopkins wasn’t on rookie deal…..Also, Zeke held out on his rookie deal last season

  16. Ramon Garciaparra

    O’Brien is a good leader. His teams win. He knows that football is a tough game for tough people. Fans get hung up on stars. Coaches like O’Brien don’t care about stars. O’Brien wants players who will buy into his program, who will not freelance, who will not grumble about their contract. He wants a certain kind of receiver who will block and fight for first downs. A guy who will rise to the moment in a big game. As fans we see the obvious talent of guys like Hopkins and Odell Beckham. O’Brien is looking for something different, he is looking for qualities that will help him win. You may not agree with his methods but the guy knows football and he knows what kind of player he needs on his team in order to win. He sees that in a still young David Johnson and Cooks who have talent and something to prove. Bottom line is his wherever he coaches his teams are tough minded and they win.

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      He’s not that great of a coach. He has won because he has a great QB, and had an elite WR, and some talent on defense. Even Belichek has won in part because he had Brady. Coaching doesn’t trump talent, it simply maximizes it.

      • mcmillankmm

        He’s won 4 division titles in 6 years…Watson hasn’t been in the league that long pal

        • Appalachian_Outlaw

          In 2017, without Watson, Houston was 4-12.

          They jumped to 11-5 in 2018 with him.

          Two of those division titles came with him. If he doesn’t join Houston, why is there any reason to believe BOB could’ve “coached up” a 4-12 team when that almost never happens?

          • mcmillankmm

            Uhhh 2017 was Watson’s first year and played in 7 games before he tore his ACL….

            • Appalachian_Outlaw

              I couldn’t remember exactly when he was drafted, but the point still stands: if talent doesn’t make a difference, and O’Brien is so good, why not a better finish in what typically has been a weak division? Talent matters.

    • Texans play in the AFC South with the Jaguars, Titans and Colts. Probably the worst division in football since BOB came to Houston. He doesn’t win in the playoffs and he’s a bad coach. Lucky to have Watson and to have had Hopkins.

        • ThePeople'sElbow

          wow advanced beyond the wildcard, what a success! you must think losing in the 2nd round of the NBA playoffs is fantastic too.

          • mcmillankmm

            The comment said he doesn’t win in the playoffs….I pointed out a win in the playoffs…

  17. mcmillankmm

    Overall, yes, Texans didn’t receive enough in return for Hopkins and are taking a risk on Cooks….

  18. hoosierhysteria

    What is story on cooks? Dumb? Drugs? Women? Brees didn’t want him. Brady didn’t want him. Rams move him…they had no intention of paying him in the out years but they didn’t win with him. Who knows this guy?

    • rgreen

      The Patriots didn’t want him,but I bet Brady would’ve took him over just about any receiver he was left with.And he left the Patriots.The Rams went to the super bowl with him,then missed the playoffs in the year he was hurt.They also put themselves in a bad position with the cap,we’ll see how they rebound.

  19. TradeBait

    As a Titans fan – well done BOB. Whew – will take defending Cooks over Hopkins anytime.

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