INDIANAPOLIS — Brandin Cooks entered the Houston Texans training ground one last time on Friday morning, joining his teammates before stopping in his way to shake hands and kiss general manager Nick Caserio days before the final game of the season Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.
It was a friendly exchange between two men whose strong relationship and mutual respect dates back to their shared tenure with the New England Patriots. Longer conversations between Cooks, his agent and Caserio are expected to take place this offseason. A permanent trade request from Cooks after the veteran receiver was nearly dealt at the NFL deadline and then missed a game against the Philadelphia Eagles for personal reasons stemming from his disappointment and frustration after not having been traded, should be worked on and, in all likelihood, welcomed this offseason.
“I think my agent, Nick and I have a good working relationship and after this game we can discuss what the future looks like,” Cooks said in the Texans locker room Friday morning. “This situation must obviously be a win-win for both parties. I think Nick understands that. We understand that. I think he’s trying to grow something here. As a guy entering the 10th year of my career, I want to be part of a vision where everyone is on the same page and has a stable vision.
“That’s my hope as a player. As a player, I’ve worked too hard and seen too many different situations here. I know they’re trying to do it right and get things done. I know “Nick has a lot of work ahead of him. I think we’ll discuss it after the season. Both parties will get along.”
Ultimately, no deal could be reached for the cooks to be swapped. It was an extremely complicated situation for financial reasons with the cooks’ guaranteed base salary of $18 million in 2023 as well as the Texans’ high asking price in terms of project capital. The Texans, ideally, wanted a second-round draft pick and other compensation in exchange for Cooks, according to league sources, and teams, including the Dallas Cowboys, wanted them to pay a large chunk of his salary to keep the business running.
Cooks has drawn trade inquiries and interest from multiple teams, including the Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs and Cowboys, according to reports. league sources. Cooks could have a pretty healthy trade market despite his contract and a drop in production this season.
Acquired by the Texans from the Rams in a 2020 trade for a second-round draft pick, Cooks would tie Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson for the most trades involving an individual player in franchise history. the NFL if he is traded for the fourth time. The former New Orleans Saints first-round pick from Oregon State was traded to the Patriots and then the Rams before joining the Texans.
If the 2-13-1 Texans, who went 10-38-1 in Cooks’ three seasons with the AFC South franchise, were built to compete and not face so many uncertainties and gaps in key positions , Cooks acknowledged that he would feel differently. on the situation and how it fits into this dynamic.
“Without a doubt, that’s the kind of thing that would excite me,” Cooks said. “If the organization was stable in its approach and stable in operation, not just from a football point of view, but from the day-to-day process. I understand that Nick is trying to build this. For me, it will be important to have this set already Not just for me, but for my family and feeling good about the situation.
Cooks leads the Texans with 52 receptions for 593 yards and two touchdowns on 87 targets in one of the least productive seasons of his career. Signed last year to a two-year, $39.6 million contract extension, Cooks caught a career-high 90 passes in 2021 on 134 targets for 1,037 yards and six touchdowns. In his first season with the Texans while playing with three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson, who was traded to the Cleveland Browns last offseason, Cooks caught 81 passes for 1,150 yards and six touchdowns.
Cooks, who has 625 career receptions for 8,510 yards and 48 touchdowns, is one of the NFL’s fastest receivers with a 4.33 40-yard dash time. A former track star who grew up in Stockton, Calif., and college, Cooks said he knew he gave the Texans what he had. It’s a shame it didn’t translate to a longer tenure or more wins.
“In every way, I gave it my all for three years,” Cooks said. “No matter the situation and a lot of things that happened, I always worked hard and tried to be the best player and the best leader that I could be. It’s a shame for the fans that we didn’t we couldn’t make it. At the end of the day, I respect them for coming out to support us.
Now Cooks is looking forward to lining up with his teammates once again at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“One last round, let the chips fall where they can,” Cooks said. “You know the dressing room will never be the same again. The locker room never stays the same. People come, people go. Anyway, you keep this in your memory bank and play with your brothers one last time.
Want the latest breaking and insider news for the Houston Texans? Click here
Follow Texans Daily on Twitter and Facebook
Be sure to subscribe to our daily podcast @LockedOnTexans today! Click here to listen.
Want even more Houston Texans news? Check out the SI.com team page here.