4. Brandin Cooks
If all things were equal, the Los Angeles Rams probably would have preferred to release Brandin Cooks over Todd Gurley. With an already solid receiver corps that would be just fine with Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp as the primary options, the team does not need Brandin Cooks to be successful.
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However, the dead cap hit that Cooks would have created would have simply been too much for the Rams and with a potential out after this season, the team could re-evaluate what to do with Cooks a year from now.
Cooks was one of the most underrated receivers in the entire league early in his career as he put together great seasons for the New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots and then the Los Angeles Rams. This caused the Rams to ink the receiver they traded a first-round pick for to a five-year, $81 million contract.
Cooks’ second season under this contract with the Rams left much to be desired. After posting over 1,000 receiving yards in every single season of his career, Cooks finished with just 583 receiving yards in 14 games. His targets went from 117 to 72.
Now, the Rams do not have to force-feed Cooks if it means taking away touches from Kupp, who has become Jared Goff‘s favorite target. However, it would be nice to see Cooks become more an impact player, like he was just two years ago, than the role he had in 2019.
Without Gurley, Cooks may end up being a help in the running game in some capacity and is a great check down option in the flat and in screens, which could increase his numbers.