Houston Texans star Brandin Cooks doesn't want to stick around if the franchise will continue to operate toward a long-term rebuild this offseason.
Cooks told reporters Monday he intends to meet with team officials to see what the organization's plans are and that he could pursue an exit depending on their answer.
Aaron Wilson @AaronWilson_NFL
Texans veteran wide receiver Brandin Cooks reiterated his desire to work on offseason trade as he said last week. He doesn't want to be a part of a rebuild and respectfully communicated that. He stressed he has a good relationship with Nick Caserio and good communication <a href="https://twitter.com/KPRC2?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KPRC2</a> <a href="https://t.co/ALi2qRWDVa">pic.twitter.com/ALi2qRWDVa</a>
"I'm not looking at it as far as being a part of a rebuild, however that looks," he said. "That's why I trust my camp and my representation to be able to get a map from here to there and to see what that looks like to be a part of something that has a trusted plan."
Cooks was not traded despite requesting one in the middle of the season, and he didn't seem to take the development well. Days after the deadline passed, he missed a 29-17 Week 9 defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Houston has won 11 games over Cooks' three seasons with the team, so you can understand why he'd be frustrated with the lack of progress.
Things probably aren't going to get better right away, either, with a new head coach and potentially a rookie quarterback leading the offense. The Texans have the No. 2 overall pick, which puts them in a great position to land Ohio State's C.J. Stroud or Alabama's Bryce Young.
Cooks prefers to play for a winner, and Houston would benefit from flipping a 29-year-old for a draft pick or two.
The trouble for both parties is that his two-year, $39.8 million extension could present a hurdle in trade negotiations.
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reported in October that "teams won't touch the current Cooks contract because it carries a fully-guaranteed contract of $18 million in 2023."
At $18 million, Cooks has the fifth-highest base salary for any receiver in 2023, which puts him ahead of Cooper Kupp, Tyreek Hill and Mike Evans, to name a few.
Getting any deal across the finish line might require Houston to absorb some of that money or Cooks to restructure his payout.