Does a Brandin Cooks Reunion Make Sense for the Patriots?

New England Patriots

Getty Images Texans Brandin Cooks potential reunion with the Patriots

The New England Patriots recently acquiring DeVante Parker gave the roster a much-needed true No.1 wide receiver. However, the pieces surrounding rookie quarterback Mac Jones can still be improved.

In 2021, some of the off-season inquiries didn’t necessarily pan out as expected. Patriots WR Nelson Agholor and TE Jonnu Smith both were extremely disappointing and didn’t factor much into the offense to help out Jones. Agholor recorded 37 catches for 473 yards and 3 touchdowns in 15 games, according to ESPN.

The Houston Texans have expressed their interest in rebuilding, which only leads to some of their veteran players being candidates to be traded for draft capital. According to Mike Fisher for Sports Illustrated, the Texans may be looking to ship off Cooks for possibly a third-round draft pick. 

The addition of Cooks will allow the Patriots much more freedom within their route concepts and game-planning. The veteran leadership Cooks can provide for young stars WR Kendrick Bourne, TE Hunter Henry, and WR Jakobi Meyers could be beneficial late in the season. Jones would benefit greatly from having a legitimate deep-threat, as well as, a consistent in between the lines kind of possession receiver. Cooks was a productive deep threat during his only season with the Patriots (2018). 

In 2018, Cooks caught 65 passes for 1,082 yards and 7 touchdowns. Not to mention, he was featured in the 2018 Super Bowl before being sidelined by a hit from Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins. This was the best year of Cooks’ career to date. 

Does It Make Sense for the Patriots to Trade?

Cooks’ social media activity suggests he might not be very happy with the direction the Texans are headed. Once veteran running back Mark Ingram was traded back to the New Orleans Saints prior to the 2021 trade deadline, shortly after Cooks tweeted, “This is bull****. Such a joke.”

According to ESPN’s insider Field Yates, he believes it’ll be hard to find affordable trade targets for the same impact as Cooks provides. The Patriots have recently moved money around by restructuring DE Deatrich Wise’s contract. While Cooks would be due for $13.7 million next season, according to Over The Cap.

There could be some future financial implications down the road, also taking into account, that the Patriots have taken on a run-first identity. This means New England, now with Parker in the mix, may not be as desperate as they once were for a wideout.

Cooks Fond of His Time in New England

Although Cooks was a Patriot for only one year, he still respects the organization and had nothing but praise when he spoke about Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Not only did Cooks have his best season to date, but he also was embraced and loved by Patriots nation.

There are tons of pros to bringing him in, however, it can lead to future financial implications.

“I have to say that’s one of my favorite places that I ever played at,” per Hayden Bird for “Especially when you’re winning — you know how is it hard to play there — I’ve got a lot of respect for Coach Belichick and, at the time, Tom [Brady] and Josh McDaniels. I think if it’s too hard for you, that must mean you don’t like to work hard. Now, you grind, don’t get me wrong, but there’s fun in that as well.”

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