The Houston Texans are reportedly open to trading wide receiver Brandin Cooks before the Nov. 1 deadline.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants are among the potential destinations for the veteran wideout, who is off to a slow start to the 2022 season amid the Texans' offensive struggles.
Cooks has recorded 28 receptions for 281 yards and a touchdown through the Texans' first six games, putting him on pace to finish below 1,000 receiving yards for just the third time in his career. Despite Houston being his fourth NFL stop, Cooks has essentially been an automatic 1,000 yards and 75-plus catches regardless of his location or quarterback.
It's unclear whether more of the blame falls on Davis Mills' lack of progression in his second NFL season or Cooks' advancing age. Cooks turned 29 in September and already has eight seasons of NFL mileage, along with several injuries, on his career odometer. Pro Football Focus has given Cooks an overall grade of just 63.3 this season, which would be by far the worst mark of his career.
Teams interested in trading for Cooks aren't likely to know how far he's regressed until they make a deal. Mills has been a middling checkdown machine all season despite a robust running game led by Damian Pierce. There's a real chance the 1,000-yard talent still exists in Cooks, but it's worth noting Mills was the Texans' quarterback for most of last season as well.
Houston signed Cooks to a two-year contract extension that includes a fully guaranteed $18 million base salary for next season. Given his struggles over the first half of 2022, Cooks' contract could significantly complicate matters.
That said, if history tells us anything, it's that Cooks is probably getting traded at some point. Eric Dickerson (four times) is the only player since 1980 to be traded more often than Cooks (three times).