1. The Los Angeles Rams would have to wait until June 2 to trade him
Brandin Cooks is simply immovable prior to June 1. Trading him would actually hurt the team more than it would help the team with the salary cap, so we cannot even begin to think about a Cooks trade until the calendar turns over to June.
If Cooks were to be traded before June he would cost the Rams $21.8 million in dead cap space, which would actually be $5 million more than the team would take on by just keeping him in 2020. Releasing him would cost the team an extra $13 million.
With the team already in the negative with Todd Gurley and the contracts they have agreed to this offseason, paying more to get Cooks off the team simply is not the way to go.
However, if they wait until June, the dead cap hit is only $8.8 million, which would save the team $8 million this season. Even in this best-case scenario for this year, it would still cost the Rams $13 million in 2021.
Either way they are paying to trade for Cooks and while waiting until June would be the only doable option, it still is not a great one. Plus, by waiting until June, they are waiting until the NFL Draft as long come and gone and are not going to get any immediate help from trading Cooks.