If Price is Right, Brandin Cooks Could Land With Eagles

Ed Kracz

Going into the 2020 NFL Draft in just three weeks without having addressed the receiver position during free agency is risky business for the Eagles’ Howie Roseman.

Could the general manager really pin his team’s hopes of bolstering his wideout group with a pair of rookies?

My most recent mock draft, the 3.0 version, has the Eagles selecting a pass catcher with their first two picks selections, Nos. 21 and 53.

Things could change if Roseman and the Los Angeles Rams can come to an agreement on a trade involving receiver Brandin Cooks.

It is an intriguing prospect put forth by Peter King in his latest Football Morning in America column.

King ranked the Eagles as his top landing spot for Cooks. To make the deal he said would require Philly to send its second-round draft pick, No. 53 overall.

The Eagles have been interested in Cooks before, dating back to the 2014 NFL Draft when the Eagles seemed position to take the receiver with the 22 overall selection. That was, until the New Orleans Saints traded ahead of Philly and grabbed him with the 20 pick.

There was also talk that the Eagles had some interest in acquiring Cooks in a trade with the Saints, who reportedly wanted Malcolm Jenkins in return. The New England Patriots landed Cooks instead.

With the Rams pinned against the salary cap, with just $6.9 million to spare per www.overthecap.com, they would love to shed Cooks’ contract. Cooks is scheduled to count $16.M against the cap in 2020.

Of course, the Eagles would probably like to have a receiver who had four straight 1,000-plus yard receiving from 2015-18.

Both teams have incentive, but it could get tricky from a contract standpoint.

The Eagles would probably want to restructure Cooks’ deal. L.A. is scheduled to pay Cooks $8M this season in base salary and another $4M for a roster bonus and $12M the next two years, before the extension they signed him to expires in 2023 with $12.5M due Cooks.

The cap hits from 2021-23 are $16.8M, $17.8M and $17.4M.

The Rams’ foolish spending spree on players such as running back Todd Gurley, who was released due to a ridiculous amount of money owed to him and signed a one-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons, and Cooks have haunted them.

Gurley’s knees deteriorated and now Cooks is coming off a fifth concussion.

One of Cooks’ concussions was delivered by Jenkins in Super Bowl LII, when the then-Eagles safety crushed the WR with a legal, blindside hit as Cooks was about to turn up field after catching a pass from Tom Brady.

Concussion history is one giant red flag for any team that would want Cooks.

Still, he is just 26 and possesses the speed that could soften the blow of another injury-plagued season from DeSean Jackson.

There’s a lot to weigh here if you’re the Eagles, but the bottom line is they could use a proven, young commodity like Cooks if.

There are two very big ifs.

First is the contract. A restructure would need to happen, unless the Rams are willing to big up a big chunk of the money owed Cooks.

Second is the concussion history. That’s a more difficult issue to resolve, and there’s no telling that it can be except in the compensation going back to L.A. in the form of a conditional draft pick in 2021 perhaps.

Either way, a second-round pick this year is probably a bit too high.