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There’s talk of a potential Rams reunion for Brandin Cooks

Mike Florio and Chris Simms discuss how Christian McCaffrey will be a real factor in Week 8 and why San Francisco has the edge over Los Angeles.

A former Rams receiver may be rejoining the team. But not the one you think.

At a time when the defending Super Bowl champions remain interested in bringing back Odell Beckham, Jr., there’s talk in some league circles that former Rams (and Saints and Patriots) receiver Brandin Cooks could be heading back to L.A.

The Texans have been trying to trade Cooks. As explained last night, his $18 million fully guaranteed salary has become an impediment. As one league source has suggested, Cooks could be willing to soften the guarantee for 2023 in order to escape the Texans and return to the Rams. Also, the Texans could eat some of the 2023 guaranteed salary in order to get the draft pick they’re looking for.

It’s reminiscent of the negotiations that played out last November between the Browns and Odell Beckham, Jr. Beckham eventually gave up a large chunk of his otherwise guaranteed salary for the balance of 2021 in order to become a free agent, when he wasn’t traded before the deadline. Once players start giving up money to facilitate their preferred personnel moves, other teams may try to get other players to do the same.

For a potential trade that would send Cooks back to the Rams, the possibility of Cooks revising the terms of his contract for 2023 introduces another moving part to the overall equation. Meanwhile, the clock continues to tick toward 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Cooks spent two seasons with the Rams, 2018 and 2019. He generated more than 1,200 receiving yards in his first season with the team, but fewer than 600 in his second -- despite playing in 14 games.

The Rams are looking for a speed receiver to help open up the offense. Presumably, if they bring back Cooks, they won’t be bringing back Beckham.

Then again, it seems as if Beckham isn’t all that interested in being brought back to the Rams. Which would help explain their potential interest in Cooks.