Could Cooks be a Redskin?

Chris Russell

Brandin Cooks has reportedly been mentioned as a possible trade candidate for a while now. If the Rams and Sean McVay are denying that, that's nice. 

A gentle reminder: They constantly said nothing was wrong with Todd Gurley.  Clearly, something was. 

In Monday's "Football Morning in America" - Peter King lays out the current situation and drops in a Redskins mention:

Philadelphia, Vegas, Green Bay and Washington are mentioned as possible landing spots by King. 

All make sense. The Eagles were desperate for warm bodies at the position late last year. Las Vegas struck out on crazy Antonio Brown last year. Green Bay has lost Geronimo Allison and Jimmy Graham but were already shaky at receiver last year. 

To isolate what King wrote: "I was told by two sources that Cooks is not on the block. If that changes, it would continue one of the oddest careers of a very good player ever. Cooks was drafted 20th overall by the Saints in 2014.

"In 2016, at 23, catching passes from Drew Brees, Cooks was the Saints’ deep threat, averaging 15.0 yards a catch with eight touchdowns.

"In 2017, he was traded to the Patriots for the 32nd pick in the first round. At 24, he caught passes from Tom Brady, and his 16.6-yard average resulted in Brady’s best and most consistent deep threat in years.

"In 2018, he was traded to the Rams for the 23rd pick in the first round. At 25, he caught passes from Jared Goff, and his 1,204 yards were the most in his career. He was the key receiver on a Super Bowl team.

"In 2020, Cooks has had concussion issues, and his production dipped to 3.0 catches per game last year, by far a career-low. An acquiring team would owe him $20 million the next two years, and then could cut him without a hurtful cap hit. For about 4 percent and then 5.5 percent of the salary cap over the next two seasons, Cooks could be the missing link to a contending team … but of course, that would mean the Rams would be willing to deal him. Which as of now they’re apparently not willing to do."

The Redskins went hard after Amari Cooper and struck out. They managed to raise the contract value to $20 million per year for the Dallas Cowboys so clearly they should be at least interested in Cooks. 

Are they the same type of player? No. Are the Redskins going to be interested in Cooks? 

I would be very surprised. 

They wanted Cooper because he is a great route runner, capable of taking a quick slant, choice route or hook and turning it into a 65-yard touchdown catch and run. He's also more physical and from what I've seen a better blocker in the run game.  

Could some of that be Cooks? Yes - but he's more known for his long speed and vertical threat. 

For Sean McVay, Cooks was his DeSean Jackson. Cooks in only 5'10 and about 185. 

I don't even know how the Redskins would use him if Terry McLaurin and Steven Sims are healthy because Washington would have essentially three of the same body types and explosive options. 

Could you make it work? Yes. Who would block consistently? How would you fold Kelvin Harmon into the fold? 

Maybe I'm asking the wrong questions? 

Cooks played in 14 games last year but has largely been healthy, playing 16 games in each of the prior four seasons. 

His numbers (42-583- 2) were also a byproduct of Jared Goff continuing to struggle, a shaky offensive line and not playing the full season. 

His contract is manageable despite the large cap number this year for the Rams. It would only be as high at $12 million for an acquiring team with several years of "control" after that. 

Color me beyond skeptical on this one. It just doesn't make much sense to me but maybe I am missing something?

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Chris Russell is the Publisher of & Sports Illustrated's Washington Redskins channel. He can be heard on 106.7 The FAN in the Washington D.C. area and world-wide on Chris also hosts the "Locked on Redskins" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621.

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