Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks was apparently heading for the exit door prior to the NFL trade deadline.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Houston discussed possible deals involving Cooks but that "nothing came of it." It doesn't look like the 29-year-old is thrilled to be staying in Houston.
This response is partially why Cooks' decision to sign a two-year, $39.8 million extension remains a head-scratcher.
Everybody knew Houston would still be rebuilding in 2022, so its 1-5-1 start is hardly a surprise. Cooks had to know he wouldn't be contending for a title on the Texans right now.
His contract also made a midseason trade even more difficult since any team acquiring him would have to take on a lot more money than before. ESPN's Dan Graziano reported Cooks' fully guaranteed $18 million salary in 2023 was a "major impediment" in trade negotiations.
Cooks' frustration is understandable. He's stuck on one of the NFL's worst teams, and his 50.6 receiving yards per game are on pace to be the second-lowest of his career.
When he signed that extension, though, he gained long-term financial flexibility at the cost of short-term trade flexibility.
Cooks will ultimately have to put any resentment aside. A trade is now off the table, and cutting him is simply out of the question given the financial penalty Houston would incur.
The 5'10" pass-catcher has to look at the second half of the year as an opportunity to showcase his skills for prospective trade suitors in the offseason.