Has Brandin Cooks had a change of heart?

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Seth Wenig/AP/Shutterstock (13621798gs) Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks (13) makes a catch during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, in East Rutherford, N.J Texans Giants Football, East Rutherford, United States – 13 Nov 2022

Has Brandin Cooks had a change of heart?

Did the veteran receiver’s comments after the team’s Week 16 win indicate he is open to staying in Houston?

It has been a difficult season for Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks on and off the field. Plagued by injuries, he will play his fewest games since his rookie year. He will likely post the third lowest receiving yards total of his career as well.

Off the field, Cooks has been embroiled in controversy with the front office after a trade demand went unfulfilled at the deadline, which caused him to need time away from the team, including missing a game. That time away resulted in Cooks being stripped of his captaincy.

Despite all of that, he is still considered a leader by the other members of the team, a testament to who he is and the weight he carries in the locker room.

While it has been considered a guarantee that Cooks would be dealt in the offseason, the reason he wasn’t traded for at the deadline still looms. Cooks has a huge contract, and his play this year hasn’t warranted his salary.

Cooks signed a two-year extension in April of this year. He was set to become a free agent after the 2022 season. His two-year, nearly $40 million contract includes $36 million guaranteed and doesn’t start until next season.

Cooks is due a fully guaranteed $18 million salary next season and carries a cap hit of over $26.6 million. His contract, as is, seems impossible to trade and get any kind of return for, given his injuries and production this season. Surely, Cooks and his agent know this.

Therefore, would Cooks willingly sacrifice money to escape Houston, or does he believe with the progress the team has made the past few weeks and upcoming draft capital and cap space that, the team is really on the right track to getting back to being a winning team?

Cooks’ comments after the Texans’ 19-14 victory in Nashville over the Titans may indicate that he has had a change of heart regarding his desire to leave.

During the postgame press conference, Cooks once again stood up for quarterback Davis Mills, remarking about his continued improved play in the face of heavy criticism.

“Absolutely, that’s what he has always done. He stays even keel no matter what is going on. He kind of tunes out the outside noise, and all he is focused on is trying to help this team win.”

The book on Mills from coaches and players alike is that Mills doesn’t get too high or too low and has always maintained his confidence despite his struggles for most of the season. Cooks could easily throw his quarterback under the bus for his struggles this year, especially as a disenfranchised player with a trade demand, but he hasn’t. He continues to be a good teammate.

When asked where he stands with the team right now, Cooks’ answer at least leaves the door open for a continued relationship.

“At the end of the day, it is win or lose with my guys, and that’s what’s most important. I miss getting out here on the field with my guys and coming out here today and being able to go to battle and being able to finish and getting a dub. That was huge and is very important. At the end of the day, I have a lot of respect for these guys, and every chance I get, I go out there and give my best.”

While Cooks has a reputation for using cliches and teamspeak, he has also shown that when he is on the field, he is all business. Cooks is never loafing, giving less than 100%, or seen running the wrong routes or missing blocks like a disengaged player would.

With his contract situation being what it is, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think Cooks could patch up his relationship with Nick Caserio and the front office and stay a very highly-paid wide receiver on a team hoping to take a big leap forward next season.

Related Posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *