Saturday night, as I was watching the second half of the University of Houston’s teardown of Auburn in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, I turned to my wife Amy and said “I’m really surprised at how quiet the news cycle has been of the NFL Today,” as I noticed that the sport’s two biggest reporters, Adam Schefter of ESPN and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, hadn’t tweeted all day.
Well, it was almost like Texans General Manager Nick Caserio was listening to this conversation between my wife and I and he was like, “Do you want news, Sean? You have it!” Within minutes of each other, two heavy Houston Texans news fell over breakfast Sunday morning as the Texans finally completed a trade for disgruntled wide receiver Brandin Cooks:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 19, 2023
And shortly thereafter, perhaps even simultaneously, for all intents and purposes, the Texans’ extended franchise dropped tackle Laremy Tunsil for three more seasons:
—NFL (@NFL) March 19, 2023
Some thoughts on this busy Sunday morning for the local soccer team:
Ultimately, Cooks had to go Brandin Cooks entered the 2022 season as one of the Houston Texans’ team captains, fresh from signing a two-year contract extension worth a guaranteed $36 million. However, once the Texans fired former executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby, Cooks, a known Easterby supporter, got in the way of the team, began tweeting cryptically, and eventually quit the team. team for a week after the trade deadline came and went with him still on the Texans’ roster. Cooks was stripped of his captaincy and was essentially counting down the days until an exchange arrived. The signing of Robert Woods last week was another sign that the Texans were likely dropping Cooks. It finally happened, albeit for what was probably a disappointing return for a receiver who has six 1,000-yard seasons to his credit.
The role reversal between Tunsil and Cooks is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seenMentioning Cooks’ captaincy stripping, however, is only half the story. Eventually, his replacement as offensive team captain was Tunsil, who himself stood alongside the Texans a year earlier, during David Culley’s terrible season as head coach. Tunsil hurt his wrist in Week 5 and what had been predicted as a “four to six weeks” injury turned into the rest of the season. The perception was that Tunsil had given up on the Texans. Now, here we are, a little over a year later, and Tunsil is getting a contract extension to restore the market and Cooks is being shipped for 30 cents. What a wild turn of events!
There will be more room for the cap!Here’s an update on the effects of the two Texans’ moves on the salary cap situation. Both moves actually open up space under the cap:
Based on available information, the Cooks Trade & Tunsil extension will create up to $12,331,982 in savings for 2023.
— TexansCap (@TexansCap) March 19, 2023
*Updated* Houston Texans salary cap space for 2023 after Tunsil extension and Cooks trade. pic.twitter.com/akFI02bWqU
— TexansCap (@TexansCap) March 19, 2023
The effects on the project next month
Less than six weeks until the 2023 NFL Draft in Kansas City. With the Texans, who now have 12 picks in the draft, a number that will almost certainly change once pick-trading junkie Nick Caserio is finished, they still need fortification in virtually every position. The Cooks trade doesn’t really impact the urgency at the wide receiver position, as they already needed playmakers at that position in a big, big way. Tunsil’s extension probably de-prioritizes the offensive tackle with a premium pick and, if anything, is a clue that they’re definitely taking a young quarterback with the second pick in the draft. A young quarterback with Laremy Tunsil guarding the blind side of him is definitely a luxury item.
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