Los Angeles Rams

Should the Eagles trade for receiver Brandin Cooks?

Should the Eagles trade for receiver Brandin Cooks?

Despite what seems like a pretty glaring need, the Eagles have not added a single wide receiver this offseason. They didn’t add one via free agency. They didn’t add one in a trade. 

So now they’re probably going to head into the NFL Draft needing to find a high-level wideout. 

But there are always other options and an intriguing one was floated by NBC Sports’ Peter King in his Football Morning in America column on Monday.

While said he was told Rams receiver Brandin Cooks isn’t on the trade block, he thinks a possible trade could be in play and listed the Eagles at the top of possible destinations. It appears that in an earlier version of the story, he theorized that it would take the Eagles’ second-round pick, No. 53. 

Back in 2017, before that draft, I wrote that I thought it would be worth it for the Eagles to trade their top pick (that turned into Derek Barnett) for Cooks. But a lot has changed since then. 

So here’s an updated list of the pros and cons for pulling off a trade for Cooks: 

Pros 

• While he had a down season in 2019, Cooks is still really good. From 2015-2018, he averaged 76.8 catches, 1,149 yards (15.0) and 7.3 touchdowns per season. The only other receivers in the league to put up numbers better than those in all three categories during that span were DeAndre Hopkins and Antonio Brown. 

Cooks is the kind of deep threat the Eagles had for one game last season when DeSean Jackson was healthy. But they missed it for the other 15 games in 2019. 

• And he’s still really young. Cooks won’t turn 27 until Sept. 25. This offseason, Howie Roseman has tried to find players who are around 26 or 27, getting back to the mold of the offseason when he signed Brandon Brooks and Rodney McLeod in 2016. Cooks came into the league very young, so he’s just 26 but has already completed six NFL seasons. 

• The Eagles desperately need receivers. Their top four right now are Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward. So we’re talking about two 30-plus receivers coming off injuries, a disappointing rookie heading into Year 2 and a slot receiver who has a handful of NFL games under his belt. 

• Cooks has been traded for first-round picks twice before, but that won’t be the compensation this time. The price has dropped! (But there are reasons for that, as you’ll see.) 

Cons 

• Cooks is coming off a season that saw a drastic dip in production. In 14 games, he caught just 42 passes for 583 yards and two touchdowns. Those are new career-lows in receptions and touchdowns. He had over 75 yards in a game just once in 2019. 

• Cooks has a pretty serious history of concussions. 

Last season, Cooks suffered a concussion in Week 5, returned, and then suffered a concussion in Week 8. According to ESPN, in six NFL seasons, he’s suffered five known concussions. One of them came against the Eagles in Super Bowl LII, when Malcolm Jenkins knocked him out of the game in the first half. 

• Cooks is expensive. In 2020, he has a base salary of $8 million and a roster bonus of $4 million. In 2021, he has a base salary of $12 million. Cooks is under contract through 2023 and is expensive in all four years. King writes that a team could cut ties with Cooks after 2021 to save cap space but if you trade a second-round pick for a 26-year-old, you’d probably want him for more than two seasons. So the Eagles would likely want to rework this contract … but why would Cooks give up money? 

• Cooks was a first-round pick back in 2014 and he’s been a very good NFL player. But he’s already been traded away for first-round picks twice. If he gets traded this offseason, he will have been traded three times in a span of four years. Generally speaking, teams don’t trade away great players without reason. 

Verdict: Should the Eagles be interested in Cooks? Yeah, sure. They desperately need receivers and getting creative to get one isn’t a bad idea. 

But should they trade away the No. 53 pick for him? No way! Especially not in a draft that’s this deep at receiver. And not for a high-priced player coming off his worst NFL season and who might be one concussion away from the end of his career. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

NFL Week 15 schedule: Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch

NFL Week 15 schedule: Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch

Here are my games to watch for in Week 15 of the NFL season:

Bears at Packers — Sunday, 1 p.m. on FOX
The Bears are growling again. They have three straight wins and are playing like a playoff team. The only problem is their many stumbles along the way have them at just 7-6, and currently the No. 8 seed in the NFC playoff pitcure. They travel to Green Bay with revenge on their minds, still remembering the season-opening loss to the Packers. That the Packers are 10-3 — currently the No. 2 seed in the NFC — is amazing in itself. Defensively, they stop either the run or the pass but never both in a game. Offensively, they don’t score a lot of points and rarely win impressively, but the bottom line is more times than not they have found a way to win. First-year head coach Matt LeFleur has his squad believing in his system. The Pack will rack up their 11th W at Lambeau.

Texans at Titans — Sunday, 1 p.m. on CBS

One team is exciting by land, the other by air. Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins gives defenses fits weekly. Tennessee RB Derrick Henry is a battering ram. These two are currently tied for the lead in the AFC South but after getting blasted by Denver last week, Houston is still in control based on best win percentage in division games. The Titans are currently the No. 7 seed. Since QB Ryan Tannehill replaced Marcus Mariota after Week 6, the Titans have won six of their last seven and four in a row. Houston has the capability of rising up for big games with wins over the Patriots and Chiefs, but the Titans are hot, and I’m going with the hot team at home. Side note: They'll meet again Week 17.

Vikings at Chargers — Sunday, 4:05 p.m. on CBS

The only thing the Chargers have left to play for is pride and the Vikings are jockeying for better seeding and a possible division title. Under Mike Zimmer, the Vikings have not fared well when traveling west, sporting a 1-6 record in road games played in the Mountain or Pacific time zones. Two of the Chargers' five wins have come against the NFC North. The Vikings' defense is starting to jell again and they’ll need cohesiveness on D because Philip RIvers' offense can light it up at any given moment. The Vikings know what’s at stake — it wont be easy, but they’ll find a way to get the job done.

Rams at Cowboys — Sunday, 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Don’t look now, but the Rams are starting to play like the team that represented the NFC in last season’s Super Bowl. They’ve won three in a row with the offense functioning like a well-oiled machine and the defense making plays. As for Dallas, fans are calling for heads to roll, starting with head coach Jason Garrett. They’ve lost three straight and haven’t beaten a quality opponent all season. With that said, they somehow still control the NFC East. They have the the talent all over the field, yet don’t have the wins to show for it. What should have been a promising season will be a disaster if they don’t find a way to rebound and make the playoffs. Sorry, Dallas, until you prove otherwise, you’re just not ram tough enough to win this one.

Bills at Steelers — Sunday, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Just when it looked like Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin would have to endure his first losing season in Pittsburgh, his squad has risen from the ashes. A team that was 1-4 at one point is now 8-5, riding a three-game winning streak, and currently the sixth seed in the AFC. What’s even more impressive is that Tomlin is using his third QB of the season. Rookie free agent Devlin “Duck” Hodges has been on the winning side on all three of his starts. The defense has tightened the loose gaps and is playing 'Burgh ball. The Bills have been writing an incredible story of their own. They are currently the fifth seed and just one game behind New England in the AFC East. Buffalo is striving for its first 10-win season since 1999. It will also be Buffalo’s first Sunday night appearance in 12 years. Two good defenses in this one. Two teams hoping to move one step closer to solidifying a playoff spot. This one has the makings of a brass knuckles brawl with the Steelers delivering the final knockout blow.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

NFL Week 14 schedule: Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch

NFL Week 14 schedule: Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch

Here are Derrick Gunn's five matchups to watch for Week 14 of the NFL season.

COWBOYS AT BEARS (THURSDAY NIGHT 8:20PM FOX/NFL)
Everybody in Dallas wants Jason Garrett fired. In Chicago it looks like the love affair with QB Mitchell Trubisky has come to a crossroads. The Cowboys are doing everything they can to give the NFC East lead away, while the Bears have fought their way back into playoff contention. Dallas has a lot of soul searching to do after getting embarrassed on Thanksgiving day by Buffalo. Two good defensive fronts in this one, but if Dallas’ offense  comes to play they have enough fire power to ride out of chi-town with the W.

49ERS AT SAINTS (SUNDAY 1PM FOX)
Niners are still licking their wounds after coming up short in a slugfest in Baltimore. The Saints are the first team to wrap up a division title in the NFC South. Both squads are striving to achieve that number one overall seed. San Fran’s defense is stingy and will provide a great chess match for Drew Brees and his offense. Niners schedule has been brutal having played the Packers, Ravens and now New Orleans in consecutive weeks. Should be a good possible playoff preview. Saints get the slight edge in the dome.

RAVENS AT BILLS (SUNDAY 1PM CBS)
Can anybody stop the Ravens right now? So far the answer is no. Their 8 game win streak is quite impressive when you consider 5 of those wins have come against the seahawks, Patriots, Texans, Rams, and 49ers. Lamar Jackson has the league buzzing and appears to be the MVP front runner. Buffalo went down to Dallas and shocked the world. They believe they still have a chance to catch the struggling patriots in the AFC East. Bills head coach Sean McDermott has done a wonderful job with his defense. They’re good, but not good enough to stop the Ravens hot streak.

CHIEFS AT PATRIOTS (SUNDAY 4:25PM CBS)
Speaking of the Patriots for years offense has been their staple, but lately the defense has had to carry the weight of this team. In their last 3 outings Tom Brady’s crew has posted 17, 13, and 22 points. Not what we expect from an O that normally racks up 30 plus points a game. They better figure it out in a hurry because the reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs can light it up in a hurry. In their last two games KC has scored 64 points. Patriots defense against the Chiefs offense will be fun to watch. New England is ripe for the picking, and I pick KC to pluck them.

SEAHAWKS AT RAMS (SUNDAY NIGHT 8:20PM NBC)
Right now Seattle controls the NFC West and is the two seed in the conference overall. As for the Rams they’re on the outside trying to get back in currently holding the 7th spot. Rams trying to get RB Todd Gurley more involved in the offense which would take some of the pressure off Jared Goff. This is a crucial stretch for the rams ... with 3 straight heavyweight showdowns against Seattle, Dallas, and San Francisco. They’ve already lost to both the hawks and niners earlier in the season. Seattle coming off a huge win over the vikings at home, will up their road mark to 7-0 after getting by Los Angeles.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles