Houston Texans: Winners, losers involving Brandin Cooks trade

Will Fuller, Houston Texans (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Will Fuller, Houston Texans (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

There is a lot to unpackage in the Brandin Cooks trade that will affect plenty of people in the Houston Texans beyond this season.

The Houston Texans made waves across the league after striking a blockbuster deal to acquire wide receiver Brandin Cooks from the Los Angeles Rams. Houston gave up the latest of their two-second rounders in exchange for Cooks and a future fourth rounder down the road. However, Cooks creates a lot of change heading into the 2020 NFL Draft. The Texans no longer have a gaping hole at wide receiver after they traded All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals.

Deshaun Watson was the biggest loser from the previous trade that took away his biggest weapon on offense, but Cooks’ acquisition gives him another talented target to throw to. Texans were going on a limb if they resorted to draft Hopkins replacement since it would be extremely difficult and almost impossible to find a wide receiver that could fill his predecessor’s shoes.

The COVID19 pandemic also made it difficult for Texans and the other 31 NFL teams to work out players in private visits or attend their pro days. There would be a clear adjustment period from the college to the NFL level a rookie would have to go through, and the Texans haven’t had the best of luck of drafting receivers.

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Texans drafted Braxton Miller, Jaelen Strong, Keith Mumphery, Keke Coutee, and Will Fuller since Bill O’Brien took over as head coach in 2014. Out of the five receivers drafted, Fuller and Coutee are the only remaining receivers on the roster. However, Coutee’s days with the Texans could be numbered after the additions O’Brien has done in the offseason.

The slot receiver has had a rough transition to the league and was an afterthought last season with DeAndre Carter taking snaps over him. Now Coutee will be pushed further down the depth chart with Randall Cobb and Cooks on the roster.

However, the depth Houston has now at receiver is a clear victory for the offense as a unit. The upgrade in speed gives the offense the potential to have a more dynamic team this upcoming season. The Texans didn’t have a lot of speed beyond Fuller until O’Brien acquired Kenny Stills last season. Now Houston is three deep with Fuller, Stills, and Cooks.

The Houston Texans will have Cooks under contract for four more seasons, and he will have no guaranteed money remaining after this year. Texans spent a high draft choice, but they will have the flexibility in cap space if needed.

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Having Cooks under contract until 2023 allows the Texans to evaluate how everything fits for the future with Fuller and Stills becoming free agents after this season.