Vikings Linked to Texans WR Ahead of Trade Deadline

Oct 23, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks (13) is pursued by Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Rock Ya-Sin (26) in the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The trade deadline is less than a week away, and the entire NFL is buzzing with rumors of trades that could potentially change the trajectory of their teams. Even the cap-strapped Minnesota Vikings are getting in on the action, and apparently, they are in the running for one of the whales of the deadline.

According to Darren Wolfson of KSTP and SKOR North, the Vikings have been linked to Texans WR Brandin Cooks ahead November 1st’s trade deadline.

This information says a couple things about the 2022 Vikings. Firstly, the front office seems to believe that this team is a move away from being serious contenders for a Super Bowl, and they may not be convinced that the wide receiver room around Justin Jefferson is enough.

Adam Thielen remains a threat in the red zone, but he has not been nearly the same receiver in the open field as he usually is. At 32 years old, it’s plausible that his best games are now behind him. Cooks has been a burner throughout his entire career, which could make him a great option opposite of Jefferson to spread the field.

Cooks is coming off back-to-back 1000-yard receiving seasons and has put up that much yardage in six of the last seven years. The 29-year-old has also in a pair of Super Bowls during his career (2017 Patriots, 2018 Rams). There’s no doubt Cooks is an extremely talented player and can be a contributor for a playoff team.

The other piece to this is the most important one. The Minnesota Vikings clearly have found a way to free up cap space if they are involving themselves with one of the most expensive players on the market. Cooks carries nearly $10 million against the salary cap this year, and his cap hits land at $26 million for 2023 and $24 million in 2024.

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As anyone following the Vikings this year probably knows, Minnesota has the lowest amount of salary cap space to work with. Per Over the Cap, the Vikings are the only team with under $1 million to work with, holding just $851,678.

This could cause problems with the Vikings ability to offer an extension to Justin Jefferson as well, who could land north of $150 million in his next contract. Additionally, Minnesota has to think about CB Cam Dantzler this year and LT Christian Darrisaw earning a bag isn’t too far away, either.

Trading for Cooks could certainly help right now, but the Vikings likely run into problems keeping their young stars down the road. The question is, which side do the Vikings care more about in 2022?

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.