The Philadelphia Eagles are one of multiple teams who called the Houston Texans regarding a potential Brandin Cooks trade, according to Jordan Schultz. The report also indicates the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, and New York Jets have all inquired about its availability.
It’s not hard to believe the Eagles have interest in Cooks. He was one of the six players they were targeting at No. 22 in the 2014 NFL Draft. Unfortunately for them, they got sniped by the Saints trading up to No. 20 that year.
The Eagles were reportedly interested in trading for Cooks when it became clear he was available in 2017. Philly reportedly offered a third-round pick, a fourth-round pick, and … Malcolm Jenkins … to New Orleans the Saints wanted a second-round pick, so, it didn’t happen. (And the Eagles should be glad it didn’t go down that way because losing Jenkins may have meant not winning a Super Bowl.)
The Eagles were then connected to Cooks again leading up to the 2020 NFL Draft. But it was the Texans who ended up acquiring him from the Los Angeles Rams instead.
It’s pretty crazy that Cooks has been on four different teams since 2016. It’s not like he was getting traded because he’s bad. His season averages over an eight-year career thus far: 71.6 receptions, 989.6 yards, 5.8 touchdowns. That’s pretty good production. For context, his average season would’ve ranked 27th in receiving last year. He actually finished 22nd overall with 1,037 yards on a pretty bad Houston Texans team starting the likes of Tyrod Taylor and rookie Davis Mills at quarterback.
It’s also pretty crazy that Cooks is still only 28 years old. He turns 29 in September, to be clear, but there’s reason to believe he has ample tread remaining on the tires. He’s been pretty durable with just four games missed since 2015. Then again, he does have a worrisome history with concussions (including when he got totally rocked by Jenkins in Super Bowl LII, which the Eagles won). So, that’s a red flag to consider. The fact that teams haven’t been so eager to keep him around is something to think about, though it’s understandable that he doesn’t fit the Texans’ current timeline.
There’s no doubt that Philly’s wide receiver corps would be better with Cooks in the fold. The Eagles acquiring him would give them a top four of DeVonta Smith, Cooks, Quez Watkins, and Zach Pascal.
Now, what would it take to acquire Cooks? That several teams are interested in him indicates there’s a competitive market for his services. So, he’s not coming super cheap. Here’s what Cooks was traded for in the past …
2017 – Cooks and a 2017 fourth-round pick to the Patriots in exchange for a 2017 first-round pick (No. 32) and 2017 third-round pick (No. 103)
2018 – Cooks and a 2018 fourth-round pick (No. 136) to the Rams in exchange for a 2018 first-round pick (No. 23) and a 2018 sixth-round pick (No. 198)
2020 – Cooks and a 2022 fourth-round pick to the Texans in exchange for a 2020 second-round pick (No. 57)
Of course, Cooks was coming off a career-worst 583-yard season the last time he was traded. The Texans would be selling him higher than the Rams would be at that time. So, a second-round selection might not get it done.
I don’t suspect the Eagles would be thrilled about parting with pick No. 15 or No. 18 this year to acquire Cooks. Especially when they would also have to rework his contract considering he’s due a base salary of $ 12.5 million this year. The Eagles could bring his cap number down with an extension but they’d have to be comfortable with such financial commitment beyond this season.
The Eagles should definitely be gauging how much Cooks cost. There’s a price where it makes sense to pull the trigger. But they shouldn’t be too desperate to make it happen.
Of course, if they don’t get him, they might have to deal with Cooks playing for the Cowboys or Saints. Which would not be ideal.