Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks wants out of L.A. It’s no secret the Rams are trying to trade him, and he expressed his desire to be traded on Twitter on Friday.
Free me 🤦🏿♂️
— Brandin Cooks (@brandincooks)
The Bears have a need in their offense for a speed wide receiver, and Cooks has been one of the most explosive weapons at the position throughout his career.
Prior to last season’s offensive meltdown in Los Angeles, Cooks recorded four-straight 1,000-yard seasons and averaged more than 15 yards per catch in three of those years. He’s still only 26 years old and has plenty of juice left in his legs to offer his next team a similar level of production; he would be a dynamic complement to Allen Robinson and would round out Chicago’s wide receiver corps.
And here’s the thing: we know Ryan Pace loves his former Saints. He just rewarded Jimmy Graham with a two-year, $16 million contract despite a market that likely wouldn’t have valued his services anywhere near that amount.
But Graham was one of Pace’s guys from his days in New Orleans, and so is Cooks.
The Saints traded a first- and third-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft to move up for Cooks (they moved from No. 27 to No. 20 to select him). Pace was New Orleans’ Director of Player Personnel at the time; his voice was a powerful one in the decision to acquire Cooks.
The biggest impediment to making a move for Cooks is his contract. He signed a five-year, $81 million deal with the Rams in 2018 and has a $16.8 million cap hit in 2020. With Robinson looking to break the bank on a contract extension in the coming weeks, it’s highly unlikely the Bears will commit that much money to the wide receiver position. Any trade will have to include some kind of restructured contract or an agreement that the Rams carry a significant portion of Cooks’ cap hit.
There’s also the issue of compensation that the Bears could send to Los Angeles for a player as dynamic as Cooks. A trade would require at least one of Chicago’s second-round picks. Maybe that’s all it will take, but the Rams would be justified asking for more.
The dollars have to make sense and the compensation has to be appealing enough to get a deal done. But there’s no doubt Pace is at least researching his options.
Cooks, unlike Graham, would be one of Pace’s guys who Bears fans would welcome with open arms.
Hopkins is a wide receiver in a tight end’s body; he’s everything Chicago’s offense has been missing. Regardless of who wins the team’s quarterback competition this summer, a player like Hopkins has the kind of playmaking ability to instantly become one of the early reads in the offense’s passing game.