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Brandin Cooks Heads to Houston

In a surprising move on Thursday, the Los Angeles Rams were able to send wide receiver Brandin Cooks and a 2022 4th-round pick to the Houston Texans in exchange for the 57th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. The Rams have seemingly been on the lookout for a team to dump Cooks’ contract onto since the off-season began. Mike Silver even reported so in March. The Texans, fresh off botching the DeAndre Hopkins trade to Arizona, are seemingly trying to go “All-in” on a Super Bowl run while they still have Deshaun Watson on a rookie contract.

What This Means for the Rams

While the Texans are gearing up for their Super Bowl run, the Rams are re-loading for another run themselves. The move to clear Brandin Cooks’ contract does three things for the Rams. It frees cap space to sign Jalen Ramsey to an extension. It also saves the team from having to convert any of Goff or Donald’s salary into a signing bonus. Doing so would cost the Rams’ cap space in future years. Additionally, the trade brings the Rams a second-round pick that is controllable for four years at a low salary.

Getting Jalen Ramsey under contract without pushing money to future years will be key for the Rams in getting a new deal for Cooper Kupp done. Drafted as part of a dominant 2017 class that also saw the Rams pick up John Johnson, Gerald Everett, Samson Ebukam, and Josh Reynolds, Kupp should be the first of that group to get an extension.

Second Round Pick

As important as it was to get rid of Cooks’ salary, the second-round pick the Rams received can prove to be equally as valuable. This year’s wide receiver draft class is absolutely loaded, according to just about every pundit out there. The Rams should be able to replace Brandin Cooks with a younger, healthier, cheaper player at pick 57. The team has been linked to Baylor receiver Denzel Mims, already having a video-conference meeting with him.

For the Rams, the move was a no-brainer, given the massive contracts owed to Goff and Donald. But, one has to wonder where the Texans head was at here. Are they that desperate to win this season that they would give up a chance at a young, cost-controlled player? The answer seems to be yes.

The Rams had to make this move, just like they had to make the many hard decisions before this one. The only problem might be with player morale. If players start to feel that the contracts they sign with the Rams won’t play out until the end. Although the Rams are admitting to a mistake in trading Cooks, the fact that they were able to get so much for him (especially with most people in the league knowing the Rams wanted to move him) shows that the Texans are still leading the league in off-season fumbles.

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