New England Patriots: 3 wide receiver trade targets to keep an eye on

Michael Thomas #13 of the New Orleans Saints (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Michael Thomas #13 of the New Orleans Saints (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Houston Texans Brandin Cooks (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots trade target No. 2: Brandin Cooks

You really can’t help but feel sorry for Brandin Cooks. He lost two Super Bowls in a row, was phased out of the Los Angeles Rams offense, and now finds himself on a desolate Houston Texans squad. Not to mention his starting quarterback, Deshaun Watson, requested a trade over the offseason and is facing a myriad of sexual assault allegations that may very well end up keeping him off the field for a good portion of the season.

Despite a rough past few seasons, Cooks had a nice bounce back season with Houston last year. He was Watson’s top target for most of the season, hauling in 81 passes for 1150 yards and six touchdowns. With Houston’s wide receiver room still relatively depleted, it looks like Cooks will again be the go-to guy for the Texans this season.

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That begs the question; why would Houston look to move their top wide receiver? Well, incase you missed it, Houston has managed to go from a near Super Bowl contender to one of the worst teams in the league in a matter of two seasons. Led by former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, the Texans managed to throw it all away, and now find themselves in their current predicament.

No one really knows what to expect from Houston this season. Watson’s status looms large, and there’s still not really been any word whether he will be active or not. Even if he is active, Watson has shown no desire to suit up for Houston this season, and has made it clear he still wants to be traded.

It’s safe to say things could go south very quickly for Houston this season, and if they do, they could look to fully embrace a rebuild, and one of their first moves would be moving on from Cooks. The Patriots would be smart to put themselves in the running for Cooks. After all, he had one of the best seasons of his career during his one year stint with New England in 2017.

Cooks price would probably depend on how bad things have gotten for them. Cooks proved last season that he still can be a number one receiver when needed, and he’s turning just 28 in a couple of weeks. Considering he has familiarity with the system and has proven to still be an effective wideout, the New England Patriots should continue to monitor Cooks status as the season goes on.