Brandin Cooks reportedly frustrated with role in Saints offense
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks has been used as more of a big-play threat than a No. 1 receiver this season, and that is apparently not a role he is satisfied with.
Cooks was not targeted in his team’s convincing 49-21 win over the Los Angeles Rams Sunday. While ideally the third-year pro would just be happy that his team got the win, Cooks raised some eyebrows with a cryptic post on Instagram the day after the game.
Perhaps it was not all that cryptic. ESPN’s Mike Triplett reports that sources close to Cooks say the former Oregon State star is growing frustrated with his role in the offense. More specifically, Cooks feels he is being used as a clear-out option to open things up for other receivers rather than being targeted as a possession receiver.
Cooks is clearly capable of breaking big plays, as he has scored on touchdown receptions of 98 and 87 yards this season. While his 51 catches for 736 yards and six touchdowns are nothing to scoff at, Cooks ranks third on the Saints in receptions per game and targets per game behind rookie Michael Thomas and Willie Snead. Cooks is just 38th in the NFL with 75 targets on the season.
It’s hard to complain when your team scores 49 points in a blowout win, but Saints coach Sean Payton still had to answer questions about Cooks’ lack of involvement on Sunday. You can read his explanation here.
At 5-6, the Saints are still alive for a playoff spot in the NFC. Star receivers always want the ball, but Cooks should know Drew Brees is at his best when he spreads the ball around. If he can’t take a few quiet games for the sake of the team, he may end up finding a new home in 2017.