The LA Rams traded Brandin Cooks to the Houston Texans on Thursday in exchange for a second round pick, giving the Rams two picks in round two and two picks in round three. So while they were not able to recoup a first, trading Cooks did get back some draft capital to the organization, something they were looking to accomplish after dealing two firsts for Jalen Ramsey last year. Something else that LA wanted this offseason: more cap room.
Texans acquire WR Brandin Cooks and a 2022 fourth-round pick from the Rams for the 57th pick in this month's draft.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) April 9, 2020
After giving out so many extensions in the last two years, the Rams were up against the cap and that has already seen them lose players like Dante Fowler and Cory Littleton in free agency, while releasing Todd Gurley, Clay Matthews, and now trading Cooks. Per Jason Fitzgerald at OverTheCap, the Rams now have $42 million in DEAD MONEY on the 2020 and 2021 seasons for Gurley and Cooks alone.
The Rams 2018 contract decisions are really turning out to be a disaster. Between Gurley and Cooks they are going to account for nearly $42M in dead money over the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Will get a slight credit back for Gurley— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) April 9, 2020
Also per OTC, Los Angeles saves no money by trading Cooks. He signed a five-year, $81 million contract extension in 2018 with $50.5 million guaranteed. He had a $7 million signing bonus and a $17 million option bonus in the contract, plus a $9.5 million roster bonus in 2019 and $4 million in 2020, all of which is paid by the Rams. The Texans will now have a $8 million cap hit for having Cooks on their roster, with cap hits of just $12m, $13m, and $14m in the next three years.
Cooks does not turn 30 until the last year of the contract.
Brandin Cooks' contract acquired by the Texans via trade from the Rams includes following compensation and salary-cap figures: 2020 ($12 million, $16.8M); 2021 ($12M, $16.8M), 2022 ($13M, $17.8M); 2023 ($14M, $17.4M)— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) April 9, 2020
Per OvertheCap, the Rams will actually be over the 2020 salary cap by making this trade, but because they have not officially signed A’Shawn Robinson yet, they will be able to make it work until a solution is found prior to signing Robinson.
Rams still have not officially done the A'shawn Robinson deal so they should have the cap space to make the trade. I believe they will need to tinker to finalize that signing— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) April 9, 2020