HOUSTON -- Brandin Cooks' journey to stardom has come with multiple twists and turns since he heard his name called in the 2014 NFL Draft. It's also come with plenty of stops along the way before his arrival in Houston.
Cooks was drafted by the New Orleans Saints with the 20th pick eight years ago. He would bounce from the bayou to New England and later Los Angeles before becoming a two-time 1,000-yard receiver for the Texans.
There must have been frustration for Cooks entering a contract season. Would he leave after the 2022 campaign? Is Houston his home for good? What's next for a receiver with the consistency of some of the game's best without the recognition?
Those worries can be put to rest following Cooks' extension. The coaching staff couldn't be happier that Cooks is part of the Texans' rebuild.
"Brandin feels really good about being here," Texans coach Lovie Smith said Monday. "We talk about those other players wanting to be here, Brandin is another one that wanted to be here. He believes in that vision for our football team and what we can do. It's nice to have him back."
Cooks agreed to terms on a two-year extension worth up to $39.6 million, keeping him in Houston through the 2024 season. Earlier this month, it was reported that Cooks was possibly on the trading block.
Houston was never truly interested in trading Cooks. After being shipped three times, Cooks, who will turn 29 in September, wasn't looking to be on his fifth team in six seasons, either. The Texans began initial contract negotiations with Cooks earlier this offseason, but talks seemed to slow down entering March.
Texans general manager Nick Caserio worked on securing a deal for Cooks to remain in Houston past 2022. The two met in the middle last week, thus allowing him to be Houston's long-term No.1 receiving option.
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"When you look at the production that Brandin has been able to have over the past few seasons, but also over the course of his career, he brings a certain level of paranoia for our opponents," offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton said. "That's going to open up the opportunity for us to balance out our attack."
Regardless of who's commanding the offense or where Cooks has played, he's been consistent. Since being selected out of Oregon State, he has tallied six 1,000-yard seasons.
Cooks also has worked with seven different quarterbacks since entering the league. Smith can understand how a constant change of offensive personnel, schemes and transitions over the course of his career can be frustrating.
"What I was able to see from a different position last year was just how he went to work every day," Smith said. "You have to have veterans on the team that can show the younger guys how to play and how to handle themselves as a pro."
Cooks hasn't played three consecutive seasons for one franchise since the 2017 season in New Orleans. That all will change Week 1 this fall.
The level of play shouldn't diminish, even if second-year quarterback Davis Mills can't duplicate similar results to that of Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson.
In 119 career games, Cooks has 573 catches for 7,917 yards and 46 touchdowns. Last season, Cooks posted a career-best 90 receptions for 1,037 yards and six touchdown while averaging 11.5 yards per catch.
Hamilton and Smith are hopeful to see those numbers expand with another season working with Mills as the primary passer. More than anything, Cooks finally can feel as if he has a home.