New England Patriots Rumors: Brandin Cooks sure would look good in NE

Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks (13) Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks (13) Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports /

The New England Patriots are off to an encouraging start to the 2021 NFL season. An untimely Damien Harris fumble cost them a win against the Miami Dolphins in Week 1, but the team bounced back quickly with a cakewalk victory against the New York Jets in Week 2. They now head into an interesting Week 3 matchup against the New Orleans Saints, and no one really knows what to expect from either side at this point.

The Saints started off their season by destroying the Green Bay Packers, but then got beat handily by the Carolina Panthers last week. And while the Patriots have shown the potential to be really solid on both sides of the ball so far, they haven’t been able to put all the pieces together through their first two games.

Nobody was expecting the Patriots to figure everything out through two games, especially considering they are now led by rookie quarterback Mac Jones. It’s clear that there are some areas of the roster that still need to be addressed though, and one of those is the wide receiver room.

Through two games, the Patriots wide receiver room has combined for 21 catches and just 202 yards, with Nelson Agholor picking up the Patriots only receiving touchdown of the season so far. Agholor and Jakobi Meyers had solid outings in Week 1, but the passing game as a whole struggled to get much going against the Jets. It was clear the wide receiver room was a bit lacking heading into the season, and the first two games have only reinforced that notion.

The Saints have a bit of an interesting situation with Michael Thomas taking place currently, and it led some to believe he could become a potential target for the Patriots down the line. Unfortunately, it seems like Thomas and the Saints front office have squashed their beef, making it unlikely he will get moved. A former Saints (and Patriots) wide receiver could be a bit more attainable though; that would be Brandin Cooks, currently on the Houston Texans.

Cooks was highlighted earlier on as a wide receiver the Patriots should keep an eye on throughout the season, and he has had a blistering start to the season. Through three games so far (the Texans played their Week 3 game on Thursday Night Football last night) Cooks has 23 receptions for 322 yards and a touchdown. He’s been the Texans most consistent source of offense so far, and has looked like one of the top wideouts in the league through three games.

The New England Patriots should pursue a reunion with Brandin Cooks

In case you forgot, Cooks spent one season with the New England Patriots in 2017, which ended up being one of the better seasons of his career. He finished the season with 65 catches for 1082 yards and seven touchdowns. If he didn’t end up getting forced out of the Super Bowl against the Philadelphia Eagles that season, the Patriots might have seven Super Bowl rings rather than six.

Regardless, Cooks was shipped off to the Los Angeles Rams in the offseason, where he promptly lost his second Super Bowl in a row (ironically enough, it was at the hands of the Patriots).

Cooks production tailed off with the Rams due to the emergence of Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, and he was traded again, this time to the Texans. Cooks spent his first season in Houston reestablishing himself as top receiver in the NFL, but he has really put the league on notice through the first three games of this season.

It’s clear that Cooks would be an ideal addition to the Patriots wide receiver room. He already has familiarity with the system, and can provide Jones with a true deep threat to help open up the offense. While Cooks is a speed demon who can burn opposing defenses on deep throws, he can pretty much get open at any level of the field, and would immediately come in and be New England’s top receiver.

The main issue with this is that the Texans have actually looked far more competent to start the season than expected. They beat the Jacksonville Jaguars to open the season, and were ahead against the Cleveland Browns until starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor was forced out with injury. Taylor was placed on injured reserve, so until he returns, Houston will probably struggle in his absence.

If Houston continues to lose, it would increase the likelihood that they would be willing to move Cooks.

Cooks’ base salary is set to increase nearly $10 million by the time next season rolls around, and while the Texans won’t really accept it, they are set for a lengthy rebuild over the next few years.

Trading Cooks is probably in their best interest even if they keep winning, but the Texans front office regularly make mind-boggling decisions, so expect the unexpected with them.

The New England Patriots would instantly emerge as top suitors for Cooks because of their need of a wide receiver and their familiarity with him. Truthfully, his playstyle is exactly what this team needs to help develop Jones, and they would be foolish to pass up an opportunity to land a top wideout. New England’s wide receiver room is average at best, and the lack of weapons certainly isn’t going to help Jones’ development.

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Cooks has looked like a star to start the season, and while his value has probably shot up a bit, that shouldn’t dissuade the New England Patriots from potentially making a move for the speedy wideout. Cooks has the potential to change the dynamic of the Patriots offense, and improve the development of their rookie quarterback in the process. If the Pats offense turns the corner against the Saints this week than that’s fine, but until then, Patriots fans can dream about adding a star like Cooks to their offense.