TRADING BRANDIN COOKS TO TEXANS COSTS RAMS A HALF-WIN ON NFL FUTURES ODDS
The Los Angeles Rams lost another star Thursday in a cost-cutting move when they traded receiver Brandin Cooks to Houston, and William Hill sportsbook has slightly downgraded L.A. for this season.
Few teams in the NFL entered this offseason in worse salary-cap shape than the Los Angeles Rams thanks to fairly recent huge contracts given out to quarterback Jared Goff, running back Todd Gurley, receiver Brandin Cooks and defensive tackle Aaron Donald – plus, the need to sign cornerback Jalen Ramsey to a mammoth extension.
Last month, the Rams released Gurley, the 2017 Offensive Player of the Year, and ate around $20 million in dead money. They also cut loose pass-rushing linebacker Clay Matthews. On Thursday, the team swallowed $21.8 million in dead money (reportedly a single-season NFL record) by trading Cooks and a 2022 fourth-round pick to the Houston Texans for the No. 57 overall pick in this month’s draft.
Los Angeles had been given a win total of 9 at William Hill sportsbook but is now 8.5 following this deal, with the Over a -125 favorite (wager $125 to win $100).
Cooks was one of the best deep threat receivers in the NFL from 2015-2018 (first two seasons with the Saints and 2017 with the Patriots). In his first year with the Rams, Cooks had 80 catches for 1,204 yards and five touchdowns as L.A. reached the Super Bowl in the ’18 campaign.
However, Cooks dealt with some concussion problems a season ago and had 42 catches for 583 yards and two scores in 14 games, averaging five-year lows in yards per game (41.6) and yards per target (8.1). Expect the Rams to target a wideoutwith one of their two second-round picks (no first rounder) in this month’s draft. L.A. does return starting receivers Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, but Kupp is in the final year of his contract.
Cooks now has been traded by the Saints, Patriots and Rams in exchange for two first-round picks and one second-round pick, but he’s still just 26 years old.
Houston had a huge need after trading All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins last month to the Arizona Cardinals in a widely-panned deal for running back David Johnson and draft picks. The Texans’ win total of 8 (both -110) at William Hill didn’t change with this trade. They still have the No. 40 overall pick in Round 2 thanks to the Hopkins trade.
Below is the SportsLine Projection Model’s changes for the Texans; the Rams’ changes were nil.