Cardinals passing attack could flourish with Brandin Cooks in 2022

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Brandin Cooks
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Brandin Cooks /

A trade for Houston Texans receiver Brandin Cooks is the type of deal that can take the Arizona Cardinals “Air Raid” passing attack to an elite level.

The Arizona Cardinals have taken a liking to players from the Houston Texans over the past couple of offseasons. DeAndre Hopkins was obtained in a trade back in 2020, and J.J. Watt joined the club as a free agent last year.

It just so happens that there’s another member of the Texans that the Cards would be smart to have interest in. A veteran wide receiver who could form a dynamic duo at the position with the sensational Hopkins.

USA Today’s Chuck Harris recently mentioned Brandin Cooks as an intriguing trade target. Bo Brack and Alex Clancy also discussed the subject recently on one of their outstanding “Locked On Cardinals” podcasts. Would general manager Steve Keim be willing to approach Houston about a deal for Cooks?

Brandin Cooks would be a fantastic addition to the Arizona Cardinals in 2022

Two of the Cards’ top three wideouts in 2021, Christian Kirk and A.J. Green, are eligible for free agency. The departure of one or both of those receivers would force Keim to spring into action. Cooks would be one heck of a replacement for either the inconsistent Kirk or the aging Green.

Cooks was a first-round choice of the New Orleans Saints back in 2014. Since then, the Oregon State University product has been employed by three more NFL franchises (New England Patriots, Los Angeles Rams, Texans), and he has performed at a high level with each of those teams.

At this stage in his career, a mid-round draft pick could probably pry Cooks away from the Texans. The $12.5 million base salary that the California native is slated to collect in 2022 could be a bit tricky for the cap-strapped Redbirds. Even so, Cooks’ number is much more affordable than the $25 million that Hopkins will count against Arizona’s salary cap figure next fall.

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A pass-receiving combination of Cooks and Hopkins would definitely be something to see. The Cards’ offense could benefit in a big way if Keim can find a way to make it happen.