Wide Receiver Brandin Cooks has reportedly been made available for trade and the Cincinnati Bengals should make a play.
The Cincinnati Bengals have surprised both fans and the media this offseason by spending big on outside free agents. Up to this point, they have signed defensive tackle D.J. Reader, guard Xavier Su’a-Filo, and cornerbacks Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander. The final icing on the cake for the Bengals’ offseason would be to make a deal for wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who the Los Angeles Rams have reportedly made available for trade, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe.
While the Bengals already have a receiver who serves the same role as Cooks in John Ross, he is much less reliable when it comes to producing on the field. With Cooks, the Bengals could finally have a steady speedster to go along with A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd.
A receiver group of Cooks, Green, and Boyd would look a lot like the Rams’ receiver core when Zac Taylor was on staff. The Rams have had Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp as a dangerous trio at receiver for a couple of years now and went to the Super Bowl with them. If Taylor wants to replicate the success quarterback Jared Goff had under his watch in 2018, he will likely want to replicate the group of weapons he had at his disposal.
Cooks would also provide some much-needed stability to the Bengals wide receiver corps. Between Green and Ross, two of the Bengals’ top three receivers can not be relied upon to stay healthy over the course of a full season. On the other hand, Cooks has played a full 16 games in four of the six years of his career and he has never played less than 10 contests.
What would a trade to Cincinnati look like? Well, since the Bengals are not typically very active traders, that is somewhat hard to project.
The Bengals would likely have to give up a day two pick. The front office could also throw in Ross so that the Rams still have a speedster to fill Cooks’ absence. However, the Buffalo Bills had to give up a first-round pick for Stefon Diggs and if the Rams are seeking similar compensation then the Bengals would have to offer their 2021 first-round pick, which may be too steep of an asking price.
The Bengals top priority this offseason is to put a winning team around the inevitable first overall pick Joe Burrow. Adding a top tier receiver like Brandin Cooks would be a great start. If they can do this at the right price, it would be the perfect cherry on top of an already exciting offseason.