INDIANAPOLIS — Brandin Cooks walked onto the Houston Texans’ apply area one closing time Friday morning, becoming a member of his teammates earlier than pausing alongside his path to shake arms and hug common supervisor Nick Caserio days earlier than the final sport of the season Sunday in opposition to the Indianapolis Colts.
It was a pleasant change 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 vast receiver was almost dealt on the NFL deadline, then missed one sport in opposition to the Philadelphia Eagles for private causes stemming from his disappointment and frustration after not being traded, is predicted to be labored on and, in all probability, accommodated this offseason.
“I believe my agent and Nick and I, we now have an excellent working relationship and, after this sport, we’ll be capable to talk about what the longer term seems like,” Cooks mentioned contained in the Texans’ locker room Friday morning. “This example, clearly has received to be a win-win for each side. I believe Nick understands that. We perceive that. I believe he’s attempting to develop one thing right here. As a man going into 12 months 10 of my profession, I need to be part of a imaginative and prescient the place everyone seems to be on the identical web page and has a secure imaginative and prescient.
“That’s my hope as a participant. As a participant, I’ve labored too laborious and seen too many various conditions right here. I do know they’re attempting 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 could have an excellent understanding.”
Finally, no deal could possibly be labored out for Cooks to be traded. It was an especially difficult scenario as a result 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, needed a second-round draft choose and different compensation in change for Cooks, per league sources, and groups, together with the Dallas Cowboys, needed 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 accordance with league sources. Cooks may 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 choose, Cooks would tie Corridor of Fame working again Eric Dickerson for probably 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 choose type 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, have been constructed to compete and never going through a lot uncertainty-deficiencies at key positions, Cooks acknowledged he would really feel in another way concerning the scenario and the way he suits into that dynamic.
“Little question, that’s the form of factor that will excite me,” Cooks mentioned. “If the group was secure in its method and a secure operation, not simply from a soccer standpoint, however from the every-day course of. I do perceive Nick is attempting 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 scenario.”
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 12 months, 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 taking part in 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 every part I had for 3 years,” Cooks mentioned. “Whatever the scenario and quite a lot of issues that was happening, I at all times labored my tail off and tried to be the very best participant and the very best chief I could be. It’s unlucky for the followers we couldn’t get it finished. On the finish of the day, I respect them for popping out to assist us.”
Now, Cooks is trying ahead to lining up together 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 hold that in your reminiscence financial institution and play along with your brothers one final time.”
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