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The Houston Texans, as it regards the concept of “the hot seat,” find themselves in an unusual position.
On the one hand, this is an entirely new regime, from GM to coach (and maybe even to star QB). Expectations are low. A poor record in 2021 is almost assumed.
So the seats don’t seem all that “hot.”
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On the other hand, reputations, money and jobs are at stake. This is the NFL.
So the seat, for the unaccomplished, might get “hot.”
Bleacher Report recently did an examination of the idea of one player on every NFL team who is on the hot seat in 2021. For Houston, the B/R choice is wide receiver Brandin Cooks.
The B/R argument – not via any fault of Cooks – is actually quite sound.
Indeed, it is Cooks’ proven ability and production that, in a sort of counterintuitive way, puts him on the Houston hot seat.
B/R writes that Cooks “can’t seem to find a home. All he does is produce 1,000-yard seasons and end up on new teams. Since entering the league in 2014 as a first-round draft pick, Cooks has produced Brandin Cooks Jersey Amazon, five 1,000-yard campaigns. He’s played in at least 14 games in six of his seven seasons. Yet he’s been with four different franchises.”
B/R adds, “He could very well be working his way toward a fifth …”
The reasoning – again, through no fault of Cooks?
It’s really two-fold.
One, B/R writes, “The receiver’s contract escalates in 2022 with a $16.2 million cap hit. Houston can save $3.1 million this season, plus $13.7 million next year, by trading or cutting Cooks before the start of the 2021 campaign.”
That doesn’t mean Cooks isn’t worth $16 million, at least in a vacuum. The argument, and a viable one, is that on a team building from nowhere, there are better ways for that money to be spent.
Two, and this is our view: Cooks, 27, doesn’t keep getting traded because he’s unwanted; he keeps getting traded because he’s wanted. The Texans are a better team (salary cap notwithstanding) for employing him.
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But as a franchise looking at long-term low expectations, the Texans can end up better off – again, as a franchise – by eventually swapping Cooks for an affordable asset. That’s not “hot-seat” stuff in the sense of punishment or pressure; it’s because of where the Houston Texans are, not because of what Brandin Cooks is.