The Houston Texans reportedly have a new wide receiver. A little less than a week after the team traded star receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals, they’ve acquired a replacement, at least as far as roster numbers go. John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports that the team traded for Los Angeles Rams wideout Brandin Cooks.
The Texans also got a fourth-round pick from the Rams and in return, they sent their second-round selection, the 57th pick overall, to Los Angeles. As McClain points out, if the acquisition of Cooks isn’t able to fill the hole in the roster left by Hopkins by himself, head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien hopes Cooks can team with another veteran wide receiver to fill that hole. Earlier this offseason, the Texans signed Randall Cobb to a free agent deal.
Houston had a second-round pick to spare as it was part of the return in the Hopkins trade. That deal saw O’Brien send his All-Pro receiver to the Cardinals in exchange for Arizona’s second-round selection and oft-injured running back David Johnson.
If the deal between Houston and Los Angeles had been made even a year go, there would have been more excitement in and around Houston. Cooks is gaining a reputation of a journeyman as he’s now been traded by the New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, and Rams in exchange for two first-round picks and one second-round pick. The Texans will be Cooks’ fourth team in the last five seasons.
The wideout was considered one of the best at his position going into the 2019 season. In 2017, he caught 65 passes for just over 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns. In 2018, his first after being traded to the Rams, he caught 80 passes for 1,205 yards and five touchdowns. Those numbers were at least comparable to Hopkins’ production for the Texans.
Cooks saw a massive drop off in his numbers in 2019. In 14 games, he caught just 14 passes for 583 yards and two touchdowns.
Houston is reportedly hoping the receiver can return to the level that saw him go for over 1,000 yards in four of his six NFL seasons. Still relatively young, his drop in production can’t be chalked up to aging legs.
While Texans fans have spent a good deal of the offseason blasting O’Brien for the moves he’s made to reshape the offensive roster, Ian Rappoport pointed out on Twitter that the weapons surrounding quarterback Deshaun Watson are formidable.
Alongside Cooks are wide receivers Will Fuller, Randall Cobb, and Kenny Stills. Darren Fells is slated to line up at tight end and David and Duke Johnson — no relation — will split time at running back in 2020.