3 New England Patriots WR trade targets that would help Mac Jones thrive

Wide receiver Jarvis Landry #80 of the Cleveland Browns (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Wide receiver Jarvis Landry #80 of the Cleveland Browns (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Brandin Cooks #13 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots wide receiver trade target No. 2: Brandin Cooks

You thought we were done mentioning Brandin Cooks as a potential trade target here didn’t you? Nonsense! Truth is, until Cooks is moved (which should be inevitable, but you never know with the Houston Texans) he’s going to remain one of the Patriots top trade options at wide receiver, and for a number of good reasons.

For starters, Cooks is officially back after a down 2019 season. He’s now posted back-to-back 1000 yard seasons, and 2021 was arguably one of the most impressive years of his career. He managed a fairly solid statline (90 REC, 1037 YDS, 6 TD) despite catching passes from Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills for most of the season. Not too bad considering the quality of quarterback play he was on the receiving end of.

With the Texans heading towards a full scale rebuild, and Cooks entering the last year of his deal, this seems like the right time for them to move Cooks. Trading Cooks would create $8.7 million of cap space for the Texans, and while they figure to have a pretty decent cap figure anyways (especially if they can figure out what they are doing with Deshaun Watson) there’s no sense paying Cooks a ton of money if you are going to lose the majority of your games next season.

Cooks is constantly linked with New England because he would be a solid fit a top the team’s wide receiver depth chart, but because he also has experience playing in the Patriots system. Cooks helped the Patriots get to the Super Bowl in 2017, and as I’ve said before, they probably win that game if he didn’t suffer a concussion early on in the game.

Cooks is just what the Jones and the Pats offense needs moving forward. He’s a speedy route runner who can create separation on both short and long routes, which is exactly what the front office should be looking for. Cooks would be a steadying presence in the Patriots locker room, and who knows what types of numbers he could put up when he’s not getting double teamed on every play like he was last season.