After the Texans and Brandin Cooks regrouped in the days following the trade deadline, the veteran wide receiver may well find himself part of a fourth trade soon.
The Texans are going through the process of meeting Cooks’ still-standing trade request, Aaron Wilson of KPRC.com tweets, adding that multiple AFC and NFC teams are interested in the nine-year veteran wide receiver. With the Combine bringing the 32 teams together, a Cooks resolution could come quickly. Several teams are indeed interested, Wilson adds.
Cooks, 29, requested to be dealt last year, despite having signed an extension to stay in Houston during the 2022 offseason. But the Texans did not deem any offer satisfactory ahead of the deadline. Cooks has been expected to be moved this offseason, however, and the wideout who was traded in 2017 (New Orleans to New England), 2018 (New England to Los Angeles) and 2020 (L.A. to Houston) looks likely to be on the move again.
“I have a great relationship with Brandin and his representation and we always have open dialogue,” GM Nick Caserio said Tuesday. “As we work through the course of the spring, we’ll try to do what’s best for the organization.”
Houston dangled Cooks in the days before the deadline, and had the former first-round pick not signed an extension, accommodating his trade request would have been easier. But Cooks’ about-face months after agreeing to the deal led to the rebuilding team resisting lower-end trade offers. The Cowboys pursued Cooks, who was also connected to the Giants and Vikings. Although Cooks was not able to put together a third straight 1,000-yard receiving season with the Texans and seventh overall, contending teams are likely to monitor this situation.
This year’s receiver market may drive trades, with Cooks and ex-Texan DeAndre Hopkins already at the forefront. Free agency is not expected to feature too many notable options, though there will be some starters hitting the market. Deviating from the receiver-rich drafts of recent years, this year’s crop has not generated the same level of hype. As such, a nice market could form for Cooks. Though, the Texans should not be expected to land a first-round pick — which the Saints and Patriots did in the first two Cooks trades — and the team’s 2022 ask of a second-rounder also may be a tad steep. Still, interest exists, and a fifth Cooks NFL employer is likely to emerge before too long.
It would cost the Texans $16MM-plus in dead money to trade Cooks before June 1. While the organization would save $10.3MM with a trade, it would still be a fairly costly maneuver. The Texans moving Cooks would further amplify their receiver need. Second-round pick John Metchie is expected to be with the team this year, after a leukemia battle sidetracked his career, but the team will be in need of more help at the position this offseason.