Rams Linked to Former $81 Million WR on Trade Block: Report

Brandin Cooks

Getty Brandin Cooks catches the ball in front of Dont'e Deayon on October 31, 2021 in Houston.

Looks like another highly productive wide receiver from the Los Angeles Rams‘ past has joined Odell Beckham Jr. as a possible late addition.

Beckham’s name continues to remain a hot topic as the three-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl 56 champion remains unsigned as a free agent. However, with the NFL trade deadline less than a week away, a familiar name facing his own possibility of an address change has been linked to the Rams — a team he spent two seasons with before and was once on a five-year, $81 million contract with.

Rams Part of Multiple Trade Inquiries From NFL Teams: Report

Per Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 in Houston, Brandin Cooks has heated up as a possible trade idea once again.

Cooks is currently in season three with the Houston Texans; the place where he’s produced his last two 1,000-yard seasons and just last season hauled in 90 receptions. However, the 29-year-old has seen his production dip to 28 receptions for 281 yards and a career-low 10 yards per catch so far according to Pro Football Reference. He’s only managed four receptions in his last two games and hasn’t crossed the 50 receiving yards mark.

Wilson, who also previously covered the NFL through the Pro Football Network, revealed that there’s still a chance the Texans can keep him per a league source he spoke with.

“Cooks’ trade scenarios remain unclear with a league source predicting he’ll ultimately remain with the Texans as the Nov. 1 trade deadline approaches, barring an extremely competitive offer for the former Oregon State standout,” Wilson reported.

Still, Cooks’ name has surfaced as a trade target — and one past employer the Rams were mentioned by Wilson.

“That isn’t from lack of interest, though. Cooks has been the subject of multiple trade inquiries, including the Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs and the Rams,” Wilson said. “Nothing has advanced into anything that could be characterized as developing at this time heading into next Tuesday’s deadline.”

Three contenders linked to Cooks. And only one has seen firsthand how Cooks operates before and on Sundays: The Rams.

Cooks With the Rams

While Cooks has established himself as a back-to-back 1,000-yard wideout for the Texans, he was a threat to cross over the century mark before being in the AFC South.

Cooks first joined the Rams via trade by the New Orleans Saints in 2018, later signing a five-year deal worth $81 million. Cooks in response delivered his most single-season yardage with the Rams. During their NFC title run in the 2018 season, Cooks tallied 1,204 yards…which still represents a personal best for the 5-foot-10, 183-pound wide receiver.

Cooks went on to deliver five 100-yard games that season — including a streak of three consecutive from November 4 to November 19. He then delivered seven catches for 107 yards in the NFC title game road win over the Saints. He then went on to snatch eight catches for 120 yards in Super Bowl 53, but unfortunately he and the Rams were kept out of the end zone in that Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots.

Ultimately, Cooks became part of a trade deal that involved him being shipped to the Texans in 2020 in exchange for a second round pick that year. The Rams ended up using the No. 57 overall pick to grab Van Jefferson out of Florida.

Does Cooks Have Plenty Left?

Wilson says Cooks still has his speed — as he can blaze the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds as he nears his 30s.

While he signed a two-year, $39,764,000 deal with Houston that won’t make him an unrestricted free agent until 2025, Wilson unveiled what the Texans will likely handle from a financial standpoint.

“Financially, the Texans would take on $8.782 million in dead money this year and $16.22 million in dead money in 2023 if they traded Cooks,” Wilson said. “They would net just $967,533 in net cap savings immediately this year and $10.398 million in 2023. The Texans already restructured Cooks’ contract in September, converting $831,11 of his $2 million base salary into a signing bonus to create $554,000 in immediate salary cap savings. Cooks’ base salary is now $1.12 million after playing one game at the $2 million rate.”

The Rams have wideouts who can stretch the field with Tutu Atwell, Brandon Powell and a healthier Jefferson — the latter getting cleared to practice recently. Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson have handled the No. 1 and No. 2 WR duties, respectively. The team also has a locker with Beckham’s name emblazoned at their Thousand Oaks practice facility. But now a potential reunion with Cooks has surfaced.

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