2. Brandin Cooks (Wide Receiver): $12 million
Joining the team this past season for a trade of a second-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams, Brandin Cooks had a very solid season with the Houston Texans as he caught for over 1,000 yards with Deshaun Watson as his starting quarterback.
As of right now, Cooks won’t be competing with Will Fuller for targets as Fuller is a free agent, but Cooks is coming off a season where he collected 81 receptions off 115 targets for 1,150 yards receiving, plus he had six receiving touchdowns, averaging 14.2 yards per reception in 15 games played. Cooks — who had a PFF grade of 81.1 for his ’20 season — also had zero fumbles and five drops this past season.
Cooks is a valuable player for the Texans, and he makes the offense dangerous no matter who his quarterback will be in 2021. He should be used to having various quarterbacks, as that has been the case for Cooks his entire career. Cooks has been lucky enough to play with Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Watson during his NFL career.
If the Houston Texans keep Cooks for the ’21 season, he could be the most exciting player on the offense, and if Deshaun Watson is traded, Cooks could become the most important player on the offense no matter the position.