The Houston Texans are not going to be good in 2021. Following years of short-sighted decisions by former head coach Bill O’Brien and the entire Deshaun Watson saga, the team has decided to embrace the rebuild. According to reports around the league, the Texans are listening to offers on any of their veteran players. While the team largely lacks talent, wide receiver Brandin Cooks could draw plenty of trade interest.
While he has an injury history, Brandin Cooks is still one of the league’s better deep threats when on the field. Today’s NFL is all about airing it out, and Cooks still has the speed to get past the defense. While he should have several suitors across the league, these five teams have the best odds of acquiring the deep threat.
Five Potential Brandin Cooks Trade Destinations
New Orleans Saints
Brandin Cooks and the New Orleans Saints are a match made in heaven. Cooks originally entered the league as a first-round pick of the Saints back in 2014, so it’s safe to say that head coach Sean Payton knows how to get the best out of the Oregon State product. With Michael Thomas sidelined, New Orleans might just have the worst cast of offensive weaponry in the league. Marquez Callaway has looked promising in small doses, but he has yet to handle a starters’ workload. Adding Cooks to the mix would take some pressure off of the former undrafted free agent, and Cooks’ ability to get open deep should mesh perfectly with Jameis Winston’s aggressive style of play.
— New Orleans Saints by Chat Sports (@ChatSaints) September 11, 2016
The Baltimore Ravens spent the entire offseason trying to upgrade their receiving arsenal, but injuries have already thrown a wrench in those plans. First-round pick Rashod Bateman is already hurt and might not be able to play in Week 1, while Marquise Brown has been battling through some ailments of his own. Cooks and a healthy Brown might just be the fastest starting receiver duo in the league, and that vertical element will open up rushing lanes for Lamar Jackson.
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots did a great job of upgrading their receiving weapons over the past few months, but this team could still use some speed. Outside of Nelson Agholor, the Patriots don’t have anyone capable of consistently making big plays down the sideline. Cooks would go a long way towards solving this problem, and his previous experience in New England should truncate the learning curve. Cam Newton looks like he’ll be the Week 1 starter, so you might as well give him someone to target deep.
September 24, 2017
Tom Brady throws a 25 yard TD pass to Brandin Cooks with 0:23 remaining in the 4th Qtr to give the Patriots a (36-33) come-from-behind win pic.twitter.com/3dBn93pjd4
— Boston Sports Info (@bostonsportsinf) September 24, 2020
Much like the Houston Texans, the Philadelphia Eagles are not going to be good in 2021. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t have any interest in Cooks. This year should be all about evaluating second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts and seeing if he has what it takes to be a franchise passer. The Eagles should be doing everything in their power to increase Hurts’ long-term chances of success, and there’s no better way to do that than by adding a proven, reliable receiver. After all, every other receiver on the team is either unproven or underwhelming.
First-year head coach Dan Campbell is an old-school type of thinker that wants to win with the running game and a stout defense. That being said, they will need to throw the ball at some point, and it’s anyone’s guess how they’ll actually do that. Detroit’s current receiver depth chart features Tyrell Williams and nobody else of note, which is a major problem when your quarterback is Jared Goff. Cooks would immediately be the best receiver on this roster, and the pre-established connection between the quarterback and wideout means that this duo won’t need too much time to develop chemistry.
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