The Raiders are in the market for multiple wide receivers and they have not done anything in a soft market led by the Jets’ Robby Anderson, who was connected to the Raiders before free agency started.
Now a new name has emerged – Brandin Cooks. There was a report Thursday morning that the Rams are interested in trading Cooks to save salary cap room.
Aside from Todd Gurley, the Rams have also made Brandin Cooks available in a trade as they attempt to trim salary and restock their draft picks, per source.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) March 19, 2020
Let’s look at whether it makes sense for the Raiders:
Cooks’ value: He won’t turn 27 until September and he has produced in the league. Yet, his numbers dwindled in 2019 as he had just 42 catches for 583 yards. He had, at least, 65 catches and 1,082 yards in the previous four seasons. So, the chance for a bounce-back is there.
Price tag: The Saints and the Patriots have both traded Cooks for a first-round pick. The Rams won’t get that return because he still has four more seasons left on a five-year, $81 million deal. But there is a possible out after this season. The Raiders would likely want to restructure his deal as part of any trade. Because of his salary and his poor 2019 seasons, I could see Cooks commanding a fourth-round pick in return. The Rams may just want to shed salary and not need to get back much for Cooks.
Should Raiders consider trade: Only at a reduced salary and if Jon Gruden thinks he can be a special piece in the offense. Otherwise, I don’t see this as a must-get player, especially with this draft class expected to be so strong. I’d have a hard time giving up a draft pick for Cooks this year.