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Texans acquire Brandin Cooks from Rams

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The Texans will look very different this season.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Bill O’Brien continued his total reshaping of the Houston Texans roster on Thursday night, acquiring receiver Brandin Cooks from the Los Angeles Rams. Cooks has now been traded three times in his career by the Saints, Patriots and now the Rams.

The Texans sent a second round pick to complete the deal — the 57th overall pick in this month’s NFL Draft.

The seventh year receiver appeared in 14 games for the Rams last season, catching just 42 passes for 583 yards and two touchdowns. It was a sharp decline from his 2018 season, which saw him go for over 1,200 yards.

Cooks is clearly being brought in to help replace DeAndre Hopkins, who O’Brien shipped off last month in exchange for David Johnson and a second-round pick. The move remains puzzling, considering Johnson’s contract and what Hopkins meant to Deshaun Watson and that Houston offense.

Cooks is far from the level of Hopkins and comes at the price of a day two pick for the Texans. Houston is already down on picks after the Laremy Tunsil trade, which sent two first-round picks and a second-round pick back to the Miami Dolphins. While the Texans will likely get a more immediate return with Cooks on the field, it’s tough to ignore the depth of this receiver class in the upcoming draft. Long term, this move doesn’t make much sense — but O’Brien has proven he’s not too concerned with that.

Houston will now roll with Cooks, Will Fuller, Kenny Stills and Randall Cobb. It’s easy to forget in all of the madness that the Texans gave the soon to be 30 year old Cobb a three-year deal worth 27 million with over 18 million guaranteed. They then dealt their stud receiver for a broken down and expensive Johnson, then turned a second-round pick into Cooks, who is coming off of his worst season as a pro.

Bill O’Brien, ladies and gentlemen.

The offense may very well still work. It should remain explosive and potent with Watson pulling the strings, but it’s a tough sell to Texans fans after watching Hopkins walk out the door for virtually nothing more than a second rounder. With Houston’s limited draft capital over the next two seasons, the clock is ticking for O’Brien to win big.