3 contenders a Brandin Cooks trade immediately elevates


Nov 13, 2022; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks (13) reacts in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

After a year of speculation, wide receiver Brandin Cooks could finally be on the next train out of Houston. Here are three potential landing spots.

In a league of superhero wideouts like Tyreek Hill, Cooper Kupp, Stefon Diggs, and Justin Jefferson, a mid-level target guy like Brandin Cooks can get overlooked. The Houston Texans star is nonetheless still that — a star.

The ninth-year wideout owns five 1,000-yard receiving seasons and has stayed relatively healthy in his NFL career, but he hasn’t shined as brightly as other high-profile receivers because of one glaring reason: he plays for the Houston Texans.

Sure, Cooks doesn’t particularly dominate in any offensive category and is lacking in raw talent compared to some of his peers, yet for the last three years, he’s been playing for one of the most turbulent franchises (the DeMeco Ryans hire was too little too late) and one of the softest doormats in the league.

It’s high time he found a new team. Cooks clearly thinks so, too, and has recently put in a trade request to join a playoff contender in 2023.

Some routes to the Super Bowl are just too easy — he could pull a JuJu and just piggyback on Patrick Mahomes to the championship. Other routes are much more treacherous, such as going to the Patriots and having to deal with Mac Jones’ temper tantrums and sideline antics for a year or more.

Here are the three most reasonable landing spots for Cooks this offseason, all factors considered.

NFL Rumors: Brandin Cooks can find his forever home on the Baltimore Ravens

Any decent and mildly available wide receiver will be rumored to join the Baltimore Ravens one way or another.

The Ravens currently have a bit of a fiasco on their hands regarding Lamar Jackson’s contract saga — Baltimore didn’t ask for Jackson’s input on a new offensive coordinator, Jackson wants more guaranteed money than Deshaun Watson, yada yada yada. Either Jackson will play under the franchise tag or will get tagged and traded in 2023.

In any case, Baltimore still has a glaring need at the receiver position with only one promising standout in 2021 first-rounder Rashod Bateman. Bateman’s 2022 campaign was cut short due to injury, and unless the Ravens want to frantically sign guys off the couch again next season, Brandin Cooks should be on the franchise’s radar.

Cooks would give Jackson a dependable outside target so that Mark Andrews can take a breather every now and then, and he also serves as a valuable locker-room presence for the younger wideouts who have struggled to take the next step in their early NFL careers.

Devin Duvernay, James Proche, Tylan Wallace — have you heard of them? Not really. They are mere side characters to the main attraction that is Lamar Jackson constantly throwing to Andrews every game, and if the Ravens’ passing attack is going to improve, their receiving corps needs to improve along with it.

Who knows, maybe a shrewd move for Cooks now will convince Jackson to stay in Baltimore. It’d be better than paying Jackson an extra hundred million in guaranteed money.

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