The Houston Texans have a long offseason ahead of them. After an abysmal 2020 season, they are looking to put pieces around their franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson. Brandin Cooks has been a bright spot amongst Houston’s receiving core, giving Watson some reliability there.
Cooks hasn’t had any say in selecting the teams he wants to play for throughout his career. Not anymore, as he has made it clear that he is taking control of his future from now on.
Brandin Cooks has had no control over his NFL destinations
Every team Brandin Cooks has played for during his NFL career wasn’t his decision. He was drafted in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft by the New Orlean Saints. He became a star receiver there, having over 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns in two of his first three seasons. Cooks was traded to the New England Patriots, where he continued to shine.
In his lone season with the Pats, Cooks put up over 1,000 yards receiving and seven touchdowns. He was then traded again to the Los Angeles Rams. His first season in LA was his best, having another 1,000+ yard season to go with five touchdowns. His second season with the Rams wasn’t as great, only having 583 yards and two touchdowns.
This past offseason, Cooks was moved again. He ended up in Houston and has played exceptional football. Entering Week 17, Cooks needs 16 yards to have his fifth 1,000-yard season. If he can achieve this milestone, he would become the second player to have 1,000 yards with four different teams, per ESPN. That shows no matter where he goes; Cooks is productive.
Playing for four different teams in seven seasons is quite the journey for any NFL player. Include Cooks’ level of play, and it doesn’t make sense why he has been moved so much. It looks like the movement has gotten old for Cooks, though.
Brandin Cooks is “not going to accept any trades”
Brandin Cooks isn’t looking to be a part of any trades with three years left on his current contract. He’s been traded three times since 2016. That kind of instability can be draining for any player. He let it known that if the Texans want to get rid of him, they will have to release him.
“As far as a team thinking they could trade me for draft capital, I would caution them to think twice, because quite frankly, I’m not going to accept any more trades. And so, for me, if you want me off your team, you’ve just got to let me walk and choose my destination,” Cooks said per ESPN.
Cooks also added that having a newborn son has changed his outlook on what he wants for himself and his career. “I’ve got a newborn son at home, and he’s looking for someone to set an example. So I think it’s, for me, starting to stand firm when it comes to my career,” Cooks said.
There is no guaranteed money left on Cooks’ contract. He will carry a $12 million cap hit in 2021, which sparked the rumors that he could be moved again. Cooks has other ideas, as he sees potential in the Texans’ offense. He has been an asset to Watson, especially since Will Fuller was suspended for the rest of the season. Cooks would like to stay in Houston and continue to work with Watson.
Brandin Cooks wants to stay in Houston and play with Deshaun Watson
Deshaun Watson is a special talent in the NFL. His playmaking ability is off the charts, making the Texans competitive in any game. Cooks also sees that Watson is a unique talent. He and Watson have established quite the chemistry this season, and Cooks wants their relationship to grow even more.
“For me, [No.] 4 [Deshaun Watson] is a special player, and I would love to continue to grow with him,” Cooks said. “I feel great about playing in this offense. I think there’s so much more room to keep continuing to grow together. Not just me, but just all of us as a whole.”
The Texans will have some questions at the receiver position to answer coming into this offseason. With Cooks’ cap hit, what does that mean for Will Fuller? Before his suspension, he was having a breakout season. Fuller was playing on his fifth-year option, which means he is due for a new contract. Houston also has Randall Cobb and Keke Coutee under contract.
Brandin Cooks has proven he can be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL. Teams have decided his future for his whole career, but those days are over. Cooks didn’t detail how he’d decline a trade he’s involved in, but he’s made it clear that he is interested in building something with Deshaun Watson—not being a part of another trade package.