Why the NY Jets should explore a Brandin Cooks trade

NY Jets, Brandin Cooks
NY Jets, Brandin Cooks / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets tried desperately to trade for a wide receiver last offseason. They struck out on Tyreek Hill, weren't able to land A.J. Brown, and couldn't solidify a deal for Deebo Samuel.

Their misses in the wide receiver market were mitigated by the addition of Garrett Wilson in the 2022 NFL Draft, but the team could consider revisiting the trade market again this offseason. If they do, one target that makes sense is Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks.

Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 Houston reported on Tuesday that "multiple teams" have expressed interest in trading for Cooks. The Texans are working with Cooks this offseason to find a deal that is best for everyone involved — it sure seems likely that he will be moved.

Teams from both the AFC and NFC have inquired about a Cooks trade, and while it seems more likely that a trade happens closer to the draft, the Jets should absolutely be inquiring.

Brandin Cooks makes a ton of sense as a NY Jets trade target

Cooks has been one of the more underrated receivers in football for close to a decade now. The former first-round pick has recorded over 1,000 yards in six of the last eight seasons, and at just 29 years old, he still has plenty left in the tank.

Cooks is a dynamic downfield threat who would be a No. 1 wide receiver on at least a handful of rosters. With the Jets, he can serve as the perfect complement to Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore.

The Jets are expected to move on from Corey Davis this offseason and Braxton Berrios might be on the way out as well. Expect some changes to the wide receiver room.

While the Jets have a good skill position group with Wilson, Moore, Breece Hall, Tyler Conklin, C.J. Uzomah, etc., the team could use one more offensive playmaker to solidify the unit. Cooks could be that player.

It also likely won't cost very much to land him in a trade. Cooks has a cap hit of just over $26 million in 2023 and $24 million in 2024. He turns 30 years old in September and very clearly wants out of Houston.

Older veterans on expensive deals who have leverage aren't going to recoup very many assets in a trade. I wouldn't be surprised if all it took to land Cooks was a package of Day 3 picks. That's very affordable for a player of his caliber.

Recruiting a star wide receiver should be easier this offseason as well. Last year at this time, it was difficult to sell players on Zach Wilson (a complete unknown) throwing them passes. The hope is that things will be different this year, assuming the Jets are able to land either Aaron Rodgers or Derek Carr.

It's a lot easier to make a recruiting pitch and convince a wide receiver to join your team when you have a stable quarterback under contract. By the time the Jets would engage in serious trade conversations with the Texans, they should already have that quarterback in place.

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Brandin Cooks fits the Jets' win-now approach and helps pair their new quarterback with one of the better skill position groups in the NFL. Given the expected price tag, the Jets should absolutely be very interested.