The New England Patriots’ passing game struggled in 2022, and this offseason will serve as an opportunity to make some moves to improve that area of the offense.
According to Bleacher Report’s Joe Tansey, former Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks should be a top trade target for New England, who “should swing big in an attempt to match” their division rivals the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins.
“Brandin Cooks’ name feels like it has been mentioned on the trade market since the second he joined the Houston Texans in 2020,” Tansey wrote in a February 8 opinion piece. “The former Patriots wideout could be brought back to Foxborough to bolster the wide receiver room in a trade that brings draft picks back to Houston. The Texans are in no shape to contend in 2023, or maybe even in 2024, under new head coach DeMeco Ryans, so it would make sense to shed some salary in the offseason.
“Cooks is scheduled to make $31 million over the next two years. Houston can fill his No. 1 wide receiver role with Nico Collins, or draft picks in 2023 and 2024,” Tansey added. “The Texans have an abundance of draft selections to use from the Deshaun Watson trade with the Cleveland Browns. Houston’s situation may benefit the Patriots the most, as the asking price for Cooks may not be as large as one for Hopkins or Allen. The Texans should be willing to shed salary, and their large collection of picks makes them less likely to hold out for more selections in any trade negotiations.”
Brandin Cooks Took a Step Back in 2022
Last season Cooks, 29, didn’t have a great season with the Texans. After a 1,000 yard season in 2021, Cooks failed to reach that milestone in 2022, tallying 57 receptions for 699 yards and three touchdowns.
Even factoring in his regression, Cooks would have been the Patriots’ second best receiver last season. In his one season in New England (2017), he made 65 receptions for 1,082 yards and 7 touchdowns.
New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Still Wants Tom Brady to Return
When Tom Brady announced his retirement on February 1, Patriots owner Robert Kraft made it known that he would love for Brady to sign a one-day contract with New England to end his NFL career as a member of the Patriots organization.
That offer appears to still be on the table, according to recent comments from the Patriots owner.
“He is a Patriot from start to finish,” Kraft said on February 7. “We’re going to have him back here and celebrate his 20 years with the Patriots. Hopefully, we’ll have occasions to do it every year for different reasons. We’re coming up — we’ll be at 25 years since the first Super Bowl. But he’s a very special person and has been, I like to say a brother to me, but really a son. He’s pretty special.”
However, NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran said he didn’t think a return was likely.
“He wanted to stay here. They didn’t let him do it,” Curran said during his February 3 appearance on WEEI’s “Jones and Mego.” “Do you think he’s going to want to sign [the one-day contract] now for a photo op, so someone can leverage him after they passed on every opportunity, and made him uproot? I don’t.”