For the third time in his career, the 26-year-old Cooks has been dealt — this time to the Houston Texans. Presumably this is Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins replacement, after Bill O’Brien decided to light his own house on fire by sending Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals for David Johnson and a 2020 second-round pick.
What did the Rams get in return? Well to my surprise, O’Brien wasn’t in the mood to recklessly hand them Whitney Mercilus and J.J. Watt. The damage is simply their own 2020 second-rounder, plus the Rams are giving them a 2022 fourth-round pick.
Texans acquire WR Brandin Cooks and a 2022 fourth-round pick from the Rams for the 57th pick in this month's draft.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) April 9, 2020
Now I’m just going to assume the Texans will try and restructure Cooks’ contract, because if they don’t then they’ll have given away Hopkins for supposedly demanding more money, while at the same time bringing on a receiver whose cap hits are apparently pretty damn high.
Update: Hahahahahahahahaha, Rams!
I believe that the $21.8M cap charge for Cooks will be the largest single year dead money charge ever taken for a player, surpassing the $21.12M the Steelers took for Antonio Brown last year.— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) April 10, 2020
Cooks is no doubt a talented speedster but he’s also coming off a career-worst 42 catches for 583 yards and two touchdowns. While he has only missed a handful of games in his six NFL seasons, he’s been officially diagnosed with five concussions, including two last season. That has to be a legitimate concern for the rest of his career.
If you’re a Texans fan, your new wide receiver group consists of Cooks, Will Fuller IV (oft-injured), Kenny Stills, and Randall Cobb (who was given $18 million guaranteed). I imagine they’d rather have Hopkins than both Cooks and Cobb.
As for the Rams, I said at the top that they’re undergoing a rebuild and I don’t mean their sad-sack new logo. Clay Matthews and Todd Gurley have been released (and want their money), Dante Fowler Jr, Greg Zeuerlein, Nickell Robey-Coleman, and Cory Littleton all left in free agency, Wade Phillips is out as defensive coordinator, and now Cooks is off the roster but with a massive dead money hit. They are in serious salary cap hell in large part because of the Jared Goff contract, and I’m willing to bet they aren’t done making moves this offseason.