Brandin Cooks is back with the Houston Texans. But it's fair to wonder, by virtue of his current frustration, just how committed to the team he is.
The source of Cooks' frustration: He had hoped to be traded prior to the Nov. 1 deadline, but no deal came together. The wide receiver spoke for the first time since sitting out last Thursday's game versus the Eagles and made clear his feelings on the matter.
"Man, I'm human," Cooks said, via KILT AM Radio's Shaun Bijani. "I'm frustrated, absolutely. I want to win. That's not the case. That's what's going on. That's the way I express my emotions.
"I think we all want to win. We're all frustrated in some sense. That's where I stand with that."
Cooks also was the subject of trade chatter this spring. But in April, he signed a two-year extension with the Texans and now is under contract through the 2024 season. That deal included $39.7 million in new money, with $36 million of that fully guaranteed at signing.
Cooks' contract likely made it tougher for him to be traded this time around. But immediately after the trade deadline passed, he tweeted about his displeasure.
Asked Thursday whether he wanted to be in Houston, Cooks said: "How I'm feeling right now, (I'm taking) a day-by-day process. I'm here now, for the time being. As far as everything else getting worked out, we'll keep that internal."
Any potential trade elsewhere now can't happen until the start of the 2023 league year. Cools then spoke about the Texans' current situation, sitting at 1-6-1 with two three-game losing streaks this season.
"I mean, at this point in my career, I'm not sure if you're calling this a rebuild, but I think anyone later on in their career wouldn't necessarily want to be part of a rebuild," Cooks said. "... At the end of the day, I want to win and compete now. That's always been my thought process."
Cooks was excused from practice last week by the team. He returned the day after the Week 9 loss to the Eagles but did not commence practicing until this Thursday.
The Texans face the Giants in New York on Sunday, and Cooks is expected to play. In 2021, he led the Texans with 90 receptions for 1,037 yards and six touchdowns. But this season, his numbers in seven games are way off that pace, with 32 catches for 354 yards and one TD.