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Rams trade Brandin Cooks to Houston for draft pick

Cooks is traded for a third time

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams
Brnadin Cooks
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams’ 2020 makeover continued Thursday afternoon as they sent receiver Brandin Cooks to the Houston Texans.

The Rams, who added a 2022 fourth-round pick to the deal, will receive the No. 57 pick in this month’s NFL draft.

The Rams acquired Cooks in 2018 from the New England Patriots, along with a fourth round pick, in exchange for the 23rd overall pick in the draft. Cooks had previously been traded for a first round pick in 2017 when the New Orleans Saints sent him to the Patriots.

Prior to that, Cooks was a first round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He caught 122 passes for 1,787 yards and seven touchdowns with the LA Rams over his two seasons, but concussions were among the reasons that he had less of an impact in 2019.

Trading Cooks should save considerable cap money as he signed a five-year, $81 million contact extension with the Rams in 2018. It is not immediately known the all the financial parts of the Houston trade, but there is big dead money involved.


A Cook’ trade has been rumored for weeks. The Rams have been trying to shed salary-cap room all offseason.

They saw several free agents go this offseason, including linebacker Cory Littleton (Las Vegas), pass-rusher Dante Fowler (Atlanta) and kicker Greg Zuerlein (Dallas). They also cut running back Todd Gurley in a cost-saving move. He is now with the Falcons.

Now, Cooks, 26, is gone.

The Rams’ badly needed the draft pick acquired in the deal with the Texans. They now have seven draft picks, with their first at No. 52. They traded their first-round pick to Jacksonville for cornerback Jalen Ramsey last season. He will soon need a new deal and that is one of the reasons why the Rams cleared Cooks and Gurley’s deals.

With many needs caused by this offseason’s exodus, perhaps the Rams will trade additional picks to get more choices. Though, if they want to move higher than No. 52 in the draft, this trade gave them the ammo to do.

The Rams are going to be a different team moving forward and Cook’s trade is another reminder of that.