Brandin Cooks is no stranger to being traded. Now, once again, his name is being mentioned amongst NFL circles as one to watch for a change in surroundings.
Back in 2017, the New England Patriots sent a first and third-rounder to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for the services of Cooks. He spent just the one season in Foxboro but made it to the Super Bowl where he unfortunately exited in the second quarter with a concussion.
This proved to be his last action for the Pats, as for the second time in two years, he was traded. He moved to the Los Angeles Rams in April 2018, where he has remained since, who sent a first-round pick to New England.
Cooks has been involved in a pair of trades that has seen first-round draft picks move hands. Whilst it’s difficult to imagine he’ll demand this kind of price tag again, there is no shortage of potential suitors for the next phase of Brandin’s career.
Having let Stefon Diggs depart for the Buffalo Bills, the Vikings have a sizeable void at the receiver position. Other than Adam Thielen, there is not much for the Purple and Gold to hang their hat on.
Brandin Cooks can be seen as a direct replacement for Diggs, both are certainly capable of stretching the field. The pair ran sub 4.5’s at their respective combines, so the raw speed is there.
Possessing a pair of first-round picks for the 2020 draft (#24 and #27 overall) puts the Vikes in a stronger negotiation position that others. However, they shouldn’t give up one of these selections without getting some decent compensation, as well as Brandin Cooks, in return.
The addition of Cooks to the receiving corps would allow the newly re-signed Kirk Cousins no excuses in seeking a return to the post-season.
Green Bay Packers
Staying in the NFC North, it’s not entirely unfeasible to comprehend Brandin Cooks calling Lambeau Field home. Similar to their aforementioned divisional rivals, the Packers are rather top heavy at the position. After Davante Adams, the talent on the depth chart is sparse.
The only drawback on this scenario is cap space. Having little over $10 million to play with means the Packers will have to be frugal.
It seems the plan was to find a cheap veteran and then look to the draft for further help. Nonetheless, they are dark horses in the Brandin Cooks stakes.
San Francisco 49ers
Falling just short against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV, the 49ers must regroup and retool in order to return to The Game. An immediate area of need is wide receiver.
Even if the team re-signed Emmanuel Sanders (whom they traded for in the 2019 season), they should have still looked for an upgrade on the outside. So with Sanders now in New Orleans with the Saints, the need for more options in the passing game becomes ever greater.
Plugging the Sanders shaped hole with Brandin Cooks is a perfect fit. Pairing Cooks with Deebo Samuel would give Jimmy Garoppolo the ideal ammunition to launch an onslaught to get back in the Super Bowl.
Taking this hypothetical into account and supplementing it with all-pro tight end George Kittle, it would put the 49ers in a strong position to be amongst the league’s best once more.
New Orleans Saints
Fate has it’s funny ways of moulding the perfect narrative; a return to NOLA is not out of the equation for Cooks. Having spent his first three seasons in the NFL with the Saints, perhaps it’s an opportune time to return to where it all started.
It’s no secret we are approaching the end of an era with Drew Brees leading the Saints offence. The organisation should do all they can to give him a collection of weapons to make a potential final run at the Super Bowl.
What is quite remarkable however is that New Orleans never made the post-season during Cooks’ spell with the team. But if he were to return, there would be considerably less pressure on him to deliver.
Now that Michael Thomas has established himself as one of the league’s best receivers, it would instead be a case of the Saints possessing one of the best receiver corps in the league. With Thomas, the newly acquired Emmanuel Sanders and Cooks all under one roof, this would be an offence to be very afraid of.
Being one of the messier franchises in the NFL currently has made the Texans have the centre of attention up and down the league. The most contentious point by far being the trade that sent all–star receiver DeAndre Hopkins packing to the Arizona Cardinals.
It would be an understatement to say that Houston has a problem. Will Fuller is the current projected WR1 on the depth chart and considering his injury history, this has all the makings of a disaster waiting to happen.
A great fix for this issue would be to acquire Brandin Cooks. A rather major stumbling block for a deal to happen here is the Texans are in proverbial draft hell. With little compensation to offer in return, Cooks might be a bridge too far.
Nonetheless, it remains possible to come to an agreement with the Rams. Perhaps a player swap rather than picks is the way here.