The Los Angeles Rams have agreed to trade wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Houston Texans, sources told ESPN on Thursday.
The Texans will send a 2020 second-round NFL draft pick (No. 57 overall) to the Rams for Cooks and a 2022 fourth-round pick, sources said.
The Rams acquired Cooks, 26, and a fourth-round pick from the New England Patriots before the 2018 draft in exchange for a first-round pick. The Rams then signed Cooks to a five-year, $81 million contract before the season.
The Rams will incur $21.8 million in dead money by trading Cooks. They already paid him a $4 million roster bonus that was due on the third day of the league year.
In two seasons with the Rams, Cooks caught 122 passes for 1,787 yards and seven touchdowns.
In 2018, Cooks played a pivotal role in a Rams offense that powered the team to Super Bowl LIII. Cooks caught 80 passes for 1,204 yards and five touchdowns.
However, last season Cooks’ production declined as he experienced a drop in targets and was sidelined for two games because of recurring concussions. Cooks caught 42 passes for 583 yards and two touchdowns.
Earlier this week, Rams coach Sean McVay acknowledged that several teams reached out with interest in trading for Cooks.
“When you’ve got a player of his caliber, there’s a lot of conversations,” McVay said. “Teams call. He’s put such good stuff on tape.”
The Texans will be the fourth team Cooks has played for in what will be his seventh NFL season.
Last month, Texans coach and general manager Bill O’Brien traded wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and a 2020 fourth-round pick to the Arizona Cardinals for running back David Johnson, a 2020 second-round pick and a 2021 fourth-round selection.
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In his only public comments about the deal, O’Brien said last week that trading Hopkins “was in the best interest of our team” because the wide receiver wanted “a raise.”
Hopkins was under contract for three more seasons and had a cap hit of $14 million before he was traded. Cooks’ current contract has a cap hit of $16.8 million in 2020. He is under contract for four more years, although there is an out after the upcoming season.
Houston’s receiving corps for quarterback Deshaun Watson will now feature Cooks and Will Fuller on the outside along with Kenny Stills, with newly signed veteran Randall Cobb manning the slot.
The New Orleans Saints selected Cooks with the 20th overall pick out of Oregon State in the 2014 draft. He played three seasons for the Saints before he was traded to the Patriots, where he played for one season before the Rams acquired him.
Cooks, who will turn 27 in September, has had a 1,000-yard receiving season with the Saints, Patriots and Rams. The only player in NFL history to post 1,000 receiving yards in a season with four different teams is Brandon Marshall, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Sarah Barshop contributed to this report.