The NFL world expressed a general surprise when the Texans sent DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona for David Johnson, but the star wideout was asking for a massive extension with three years left on his current contract, and Houston wasn’t willing to cave.
Eagles fans were quick to wonder whether or not Howie and the front office had inquired about Hopkins given the team’s obvious need at receiver, and this morning Adam Schefter appeared on 97.5 the Fanatic to confirm that the team did in fact call about the star receiver. According to Schefter, the front office concluded that moving a high round pick along with having to pay him a massive contract extension would be too high of a price to pay.
Complain all you want, but this is the right decision. To allocate a high round draft pick and a possible new contact worth $20+ mil annually at a skill position would be silly—a truly textbook mistake from a roster construction perspective.
Nonetheless, hearing that Howie at least called about Hopkins is encouraging. The wide receiver position is of obvious need and the front office is clearly willing to improve it through free agency, the draft, and via trade.
While not quite on the level of Hopkins, one receiver who is known to be available for trade is Brandin Cooks. After four consecutive 1,000 yard seasons he had a down year in 2019. Despite being relatively healthy, he was behind both Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods in the pecking order and his numbers suffered as a result.
Cooks has spent part of his career in both New Orleans and New England as well, so the Birds would potentially be his fourth team, but that’s been more about circumstance than an indictment on his talent. Cooks would be an obvious upgrade over Algholor, and could seamlessly slide into his role in this offense.
The concern with him is the concussions. He’s had at least five throughout his career and while he’s been healthy otherwise, he’ll always be a hit to the head away from the IR. That may sound paradoxical given he’s only missed two games to injury since his rookie season, but it’s a real concern for any team looking into Cooks.
His cap number is $8 mil in 2020 then it goes to 12-13-14 in the final three years of his contract. Those are reasonable numbers for Cooks’ services but given the circumstances surrounding his health his trade value will be lower than you’d expect. If he can be had for a third rounder I think it’s worth considering; anything higher feels too risky for my taste.
Free Agency officially starts at 4 p.m. and the Birds are expected to release Alshon Jefferey almost immediately—saving about $10 million in the process. The wide receiver group as a whole has underachieved the past two seasons, and no matter what moves the team make I look forward to fresh faces catching passes in 2020.