INDIANAPOLIS — Brandin Cooks walked onto the Houston Texans’ observe discipline one last time Friday morning, becoming a member of his teammates earlier than pausing alongside his path to shake palms and hug common supervisor Nick Caserio days earlier than the final recreation of the season Sunday in opposition to the Indianapolis Colts.
It was a pleasant alternate between two males whose sturdy relationship and mutual respect goes again to their shared tenure with the New England Patriots. Lengthier conversations between Cooks, his agent and Caserio are anticipated to happen this offseason. A standing commerce request from Cooks after the veteran broad receiver was practically dealt on the NFL deadline, then missed one recreation in opposition to the Philadelphia Eagles for private causes stemming from his disappointment and frustration after not being traded, is anticipated to be labored on and, in all probability, accommodated this offseason.
“I believe my agent and Nick and I, we’ve got a very good working relationship and, after this recreation, we’ll have the ability to talk about what the long run appears to be like like,” Cooks mentioned contained in the Texans’ locker room Friday morning. “This example, clearly has received to be a win-win for either side. I believe Nick understands that. We perceive that. I believe he’s making an attempt to develop one thing right here. As a man going into Yr 10 of my profession, I wish to be part of a imaginative and prescient the place everyone seems to be on the identical web page and has a steady imaginative and prescient.
“That’s my hope as a participant. As a participant, I’ve labored too exhausting and seen too many alternative conditions right here. I do know they’re making an attempt to get it proper and get it going. I do know Nick has a giant job in entrance of him. I believe we’ll talk about it after the season. Either side can have a very good understanding.”
Finally, no deal could possibly be labored out for Cooks to be traded. It was an especially difficult state of affairs as a consequence of monetary causes with Cooks’ $18 million assured base wage in 2023 together with the Texans’ excessive asking worth by way of draft capital. The Texans, ideally, wished a second-round draft decide and different compensation in alternate for Cooks, per league sources, and groups, together with the Dallas Cowboys, wished them to pay a big portion of his wage to make the commerce work.
Cooks drew commerce inquiries and curiosity from a number of groups, together with the Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings, Inexperienced Bay Packers, Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and Cowboys, in keeping with league sources. Cooks might have a reasonably wholesome commerce market regardless of his contract and a dip in manufacturing this season.
Acquired by the Texans from the Rams in a 2020 commerce for a second-round draft decide, Cooks would tie Corridor of Fame operating again Eric Dickerson for essentially the most trades involving a person participant in NFL historical past if he’s traded for a fourth time. The previous New Orleans Saints first-round draft decide kind Oregon State was beforehand traded to the Patriots after which the Rams earlier than becoming a member of the Texans.
If the 2-13-1 Texans, who’ve gone 10-38-1 throughout Cooks’ three seasons with the AFC South franchise, had been constructed to compete and never dealing with a lot uncertainty-deficiencies at key positions, Cooks acknowledged he would really feel otherwise concerning the state of affairs and the way he matches into that dynamic.
“Little question, that’s the form of factor that will excite me,” Cooks mentioned. “If the group was steady in its method and a steady operation, not simply from a soccer standpoint, however from the every-day course of. I do perceive Nick is making an attempt to construct that. For me, it’s going to be essential to have already got that set. Not only for me, however for my household and feeling good concerning the state of affairs.”
Cooks leads the Texans with 52 receptions for 593 yards and two touchdowns on 87 targets in one of many least productive seasons of his profession. Signed to a two-year, $39.6 million contract extension final yr, Cooks caught a career-high 90 passes in 2021 on 134 targets for 1,037 yards and 6 touchdowns. In his first season with the Texans whereas enjoying with three-time Professional Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson, who was traded to the Cleveland Browns final offseason, Cooks caught 81 passes for 1,150 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Cooks, who has 625 profession receptions for 8,510 yards and 48 touchdowns, is without doubt one of the quickest receivers within the NFL with a 4.33 time within the 40-yard sprint. A former monitor standout rising up in Stockton, Calif., and in faculty, Cooks, mentioned he is aware of he gave the Texans what he had. It’s unlucky that didn’t translate into an extended tenure or extra victories.
“In each means, I gave the whole lot I had for 3 years,” Cooks mentioned. “Whatever the state of affairs and lots of issues that was happening, I at all times labored my tail off and tried to be the most effective participant and the most effective chief I could be. It’s unlucky for the followers we couldn’t get it completed. On the finish of the day, I respect them for popping out to assist us.”
Now, Cooks is wanting ahead to lining up along with his teammates yet another time at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“One final go ‘spherical, let the chips fall the place they could,” Cooks mentioned. “ the locker room won’t ever be the identical once more. The locker room by no means stays the identical. Individuals come, folks go. Regardless, you simply preserve that in your reminiscence financial institution and play along with your brothers one final time.”
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