Brandin Cooks trade would have pros and cons for KC Chiefs
By Matt Conner
The pros of a Brandin Cooks trade for KC
Yates is correct in pointing out the talent and cost on Cooks’ deal, which is what would make him an exemplary fit for several teams—and that’s certainly true for K.C. as well. He’s a proven playmaker who is currently leading the Texans in every receiving category without anyone else particularly close. In fact, it’s pretty amazing Cooks can produce much of anything at all given that he’s the only dangerous target on the team. Week to week, he should be seeing double teams and a game plan that relies on nullifying his effectiveness.
Despite being the only threat in the Texans passing game, Cooks has 45 catches on 64 targets so far in 2021 for 502 receiving yards in only 7 games. Those are Pro Bowl caliber numbers thus far, save for the single touchdown, but as an offensive whole, it’s not as if the Texans are hitting the end zone all that often.
And Cooks should be a familiar name to everyone in Chiefs Kingdom as a former first-round pick who, despite being well-traveled, has put up five seasons with 1,000 yards or more receiving.
Consider the fact that Cooks has hit the 1K mark with four different teams. It’s easy to ask why he’s been moved around so much, but despite whatever reasons have him constantly on the go, the reality is that he’s produced in every system for every coach in every offense. That should silence any doubter about whether or not he could provide an instant impact for the Chiefs.
At this point, the Chiefs have Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce as their offensive pillars without anyone reliable to create separation and get open other than them. When better defenses are able to key in on those players, the Chiefs have lacked that third option since Sammy Watkins left (and even then he was often sidelined with injury). Josh Gordon was signed but he’s done nothing to date after three games. Other faces can show up from time to time with solid games, but no one is going to force defenses to shift the game plan.
It’s also important to note that Cooks just turned 28 years old (he’s just a few months older than Tyreek Hill). Next season, he’s on the books for $15 million with only $1.5 million on this season’s deal. That means this year would be affordable enough for the Chiefs, but he’s also young enough that extending him for another year or two could give the Chiefs their offensive trio moving forward and provide Cooks a place to call home for the last of his obvious prime years.
The other point that needs to be made is that there’s no clear defensive addition that might work for the Chiefs. Trade targets like Melvin Ingram are aging and uncertain, and it’s not as if there’s such an obvious move like what Cooks would add to a team with his youth, salary and track record of production.