Antonio Brown has plenty of off-field issues to resolve. Still, if he clears pending allegations, will WR Brandin Cooks’ support lead him to sign with the LA Rams?
The LA Rams have their hands full of drama right now. Approximately 33 percent of their 2019 roster have contracts due to expire before the 2020 NFL season. Right now, the team would be hard-pressed to re-sign even ten of those players. That’s plenty for the team to focus on for the next few weeks. But that doesn’t concern LA Rams wide receiver, Brandin Cooks. While Cooks may be one of the players whose contracts have complicated the Rams situation, he simply did what any one of us would do in his situation, he signed it for a lot of money.
The business side of the NFL goes both ways. If teams can cut players, then those same players can hide behind contract language guaranteeing payment regardless of whether or not a player is showing up at that level of play. In 2019, Cooks production plummeted drastically.
Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar caught up to Brandin Cooks at his off-season workout at Travelle Gaines’ Athletic Gaines facility near Los Angeles this week. During the interview, the topic turned to former NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown, currently facing several allegations for his off-field conduct in 2019.
During the interview, Cooks did not hesitate to profess support for Bown, hoping he was able to return to the NFL someday:
"“I’m going to stay out of that,” Cooks said of the personal issues. “But the one thing I will say is that he’s an unbelievable athlete and a special talent. I spent a week with him a couple (of) years ago, and his work ethic is second to none. I truly pray that he gets another shot in the NFL because he’s too talented not to be on a team. I love everything about that guy from the time I spent with him, and I continue to pray for him because he means a lot to me.”"
While NFL receivers have an implied fraternal bond, Brandin Cooks admirably stepped beyond the polite public support, digging deeper into a personal bond with his besieged friend.
Of course, the allegations against Antonio Brown are serious and must be resolved before any thought can be made towards Brown resuming his NFL career. But the bond between Cooks and Brown, in Brandin Cooks’ own words, is surprisingly strong. So strong, in fact, that should Antonio Brown clear charges, I would not be surprised in the least if Cooks persuaded the Rams’ front office to explore the likelihood of signing Brown to a one-year “prove it” contract.
Do the Rams need more wide receiver talent? Likely no. But Antonio Brown may need someone to open the door for his way back to the NFL. Should that occasion occur, Cooks will be there for him. After all, in his own words, “He means a lot to me.”