New England Patriots: Positive development for potential Cooks trade

Brandin Cooks #13 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Brandin Cooks #13 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

The NFL Trade Deadline is quickly approaching, and the New England Patriots are expected to be active in discussions around the league. We have already seen a couple of moves be made, and one move in particular made yesterday evening may end up having big ramifications for the Patriots and one of their trade targets.

That deal would be the Houston Texans sending their top running back, Mark Ingram, to the team he spent the first eight seasons of his career with, the New Orleans Saints. On the surface, it seems like a relatively straightforward deal that doesn’t really have any sort of implications for the Pats. A closer look though reveals a potentially huge development that could help the Patriots strike a big deal at the deadline.

The Texans are currently floundering through yet another wasted season, and seem on the verge of a full scale rebuild. Ingram was just dealt, and it’s seeming increasingly likely their troubled star quarterback Deshaun Watson will be heading to the Miami Dolphins before the deadline ends. That has left the rest of the Texans roster frustrated by the team’s sheer incompetency, including star wide receiver Brandin Cooks.

Cooks has had a resurgent season with the Texans so far, but with inconsistent quarterback play and a lack of other options around him, he’s starting to struggle breaking free from the intense attention opposing defenses are giving him.

Things appear to be getting even worse for Cooks with Ingram heading out the door, and he voiced his displeasure with the move, tweeting “This is bulls–t, such a joke.” right after the deal was announced. Cooks frustration appears to be reaching a boiling point, and the Texans may end up being forced to move Cooks at the deadline as well.

New England Patriots should be thrilled with this Brandin Cooks development

For Patriots fans hoping that their team will add another wide receiver at the trade deadline, brace yourself for a lot of rumors over the next few days.

A player of Cooks caliber probably doesn’t want to spend the rest of the season playing for a team that’s going nowhere, and now his frustration is known to the rest of the league. You can bet 31 other teams around the league have taken note of Cooks tweet, and are actively working on deciding whether a move can be made for him.

Among the teams that should be at the front of the pack are the New England Patriots. Their wide receiver corps has done OK this season despite lacking a true number one wide receiver, and adding Cooks could be the move that helps this offense take their game to the next level. Cooks is just what this team needs; a speedy deep threat who can line up all over the field that poses the ability to take the top off the defense on any given play.

Not only is Cooks just what the team needs at wide receiver, he also has familiarity with New England’s offense. Cooks spent just one season with the team in 2017, but he helped power the offense all the way to the Super Bowl before he sufferred an untimely concussion in their defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles. If he stays healthy in that game, there’s a good chance the Patriots would have seven rings instead of six.

You could say there’s some unfinished business for Cooks in New England, but that would ignore the fact that this team is completely different from the one he was a part of in 2017. Gone are guys like Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Julian Edelman. Cooks would come in and instantly be the go-to-guy for rookie quarterback Mac Jones and the offense, which would be a huge pick me up for an offense that has struggled to find any sort of consistency through the first seven games.

I’ll admit I’ve been a fan of a potential move for Cooks for quite some time now, but it appears there will actually be a reasonable chance he gets moved at the trade deadline. Whether it ends up being to the New England Patriots or another team remains to be seen, but the Patriots should be one of the first teams on Houston’s line. Maybe Nick Caserio and Bill Belichick’s long standing relationship helps the two teams craft a deal.

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Realistically, it shouldn’t take a ton to get Cooks to New England at this point. Houston lost a lot of leverage when he voiced his frustrations on social media the other day, which works in the Patriots favor. I’d say a midround pick (3rd or 4th) and maybe a young guy like N’Keal Harry would probably be enough to land Cooks, but with the Texans, you never really know.

All that’s clear now is Cooks could be available for the taking, and the New England Patriots should absolutely be in the running for the star wideout. The offense has been making strides in recent weeks, but adding Cooks would allow them to take the next step forward and actually contend for a wild card spot down the stretch of the season.

Jones has done well with a patchwork receiving corps so far, but giving him a star wideout could fully unlock the Pats offensive potential. Make it happen Belichick.