The Cleveland Browns are interested in adding Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks.
Cooks expects to be traded from the Texans after some productive, albeit tumultuous years in Houston. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reported that Cooks will be one of the receivers on the Browns’ radar as they look to improve the roster in the coming weeks.
As Cabot puts it, Cooks checks a lot of the boxes the Browns are looking for. He’s speedy, has reliable hands and has experience playing with quarterback Deshaun Watson.
“Cooks, who has missed only six of 50 regular season games, has a natural feel for staying alive for Watson on the scramble drill, and for being ready for the no-look pass or whatever else Watson dishes out,” Cabot wrote.
However, there are clear drawbacks to pursuing Cooks to upgrade their wide receiver corps. First, he’ll cost assets via trade, which will likely be a mid-round pick. Second, he’s making $18 million next season, with a cap hit of more than $26 million. That’s not ideal for the Browns, although they could decide to do something similar to what they did with Amari Cooper, restructuring his deal to lower the initial cap hit.
Cooks has played the last three seasons in Houston, going over 1,000 yards in two of those campaigns. He missed four games last season for the struggling Texans, notching 57 catches for 699 yards and three touchdowns.
Browns Have Free Agent Options on Radar as Well
If the Browns don’t decide to trade for a wide receiver, they have some free agent options available to them that could help build out their depth.
One of the more prominent options avaialble is former Minnesota Vikings standout Adam Thielen, who was recently released. Thielen, 32, spent nine seasons in Minnesota. His best year in Minnesota came in 2018, when he caught 113 passes for 1,373 yards and nine touchdowns.
While Thielen has never played with Deshaun Watson, he does have experience working with Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski, who also calls the offensive plays in Cleveland. Cabot believes Thielen could be a fit in Cleveland at a budget price.
“Thielen would provide Watson with another savvy veteran to pair with Amari Cooper, and would help lead the younger wideouts,” Cabot wrote. “After being released because of his $19.97 million cap hit, the Browns could probably sign …read more