The Los Angeles Rams have an important decision to make on Brandin Cooks this offseason. Cooks had his worst season in the NFL since his rookie season, finishing the year with 42 receptions for 583 yards and two touchdowns. Cooks started in 14 games after missing two games with a concussion, which made the 2019 season the worst season of his career in terms of production. The Rams are also not lacking in talent when it comes to receivers given the ability of Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods as well as the emergence of Tyler Higbee. So, what should the Rams do with Cooks in the offseason? Let’s take a look at the three possible scenarios.
Cutting Brandin Cooks
This scenario is the least likely as Brandin Cooks has a base salary of $8 million this season, and the Rams would take a $16 million cap hit on the rest of his 88 million dollar contract if they were to cut him. The Rams would be more inclined to opt-out after the 2020 NFL season than to release him. Los Angeles also lacks the cap space for this to be an option this year.
Trading Brandin Cooks
There are multiple teams in the NFL that need a receiver that have the salary cap space to obtain Cooks. Organizations that would seem inclined to trade for a talent like Cooks would be the Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, and New York Jets. All three lack a true #1 receiver and Cooks would make sense for each of these teams, and all three have the salary-cap space to pull the trade-off this offseason.
Keeping Brandin Cooks
This scenario makes the most sense. I don’t see the Rams cutting Brandin Cooks given the cap hit they would take and with the option they have next season Cooks. The Rams also would likely be looking for a high draft pick in return for Cooks, and even though teams that need talent at the receiver position and have the cap space may not view Cooks as worthy of giving up a high draft pick. Los Angeles needs the cap space, but I don’t see Cooks being an option to get rid of this season, so I look for the Rams to keep Cooks around for at least another season.