It’s been a pretty big July for Brandin Cooks.
The Rams wide receiver married his wife, Bri, on July 7. Then the newly minted Mr. and Mrs. Cooks took a couple weeks to celebrate their union with a honeymoon.
They had even more reason to celebrate on Tuesday, as Cooks signed a five-year extension with the Rams, keeping him under contract in Los Angeles through the 2023 NFL season.
“I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and just extremely thankful,” Cooks told therams.com. “I would say first and foremost marrying my best friend, that being a highlight of this past month. And then now being able to sign a contract to make this home, I think, is beyond special and speaks volumes to the team on how much they believe in me. And I just want to do everything I can to prove them right.”
After being traded in each of the past two offseasons, Cooks said he and his wife wanted to be in a place where they could settle down. Just after signing his new deal on Tuesday, the wideout noted it didn’t take long to realize the Rams and L.A. added up to the perfect spot.
“I think when you look at it, at this place — even before I was here — you sense something special going on with coach [Sean] McVay and what he’s building and this team and the young energy that’s here. And when I got here for OTAs and offseason workouts, there was a no brainer that this is the place I want to make home for the rest of my career,” Cooks said. “You’ve got guys on the offensive side with our O-line, and our running backs, and our receiving corps — I think we mesh so well, it’s a no-brainer for a guy who wants to have a successful career to want to be here.”
Head coach Sean McVay and quarterback Jared Goff were in the building as Cooks signed his deal — a gesture Cooks called emblematic of how the organization emphasizes togetherness and family.
“I think it tells you about this team. When your head coach is here and your quarterback is here to support you at a time like this, I think that’s what family’s all about,” Cooks said. “And we’re building that family bond, and it shows that they’re accepting me into this culture and into this family right away — and their belief in me.”
And though Cooks has played with two of best quarterbacks in the history of the NFL in Drew Brees and Tom Brady, he’s excited about the opportunity to grow with a young signal-caller like Goff.
Check out behind-the-scenes photos from the Rams Media Day.
“The guy, he’s young and he’s already done what he’s done. So it’s crazy to think about what his potential is and where he’s going,” Cooks said. “And I’ve been blessed to play with two great quarterbacks. And so to be able to come with Jared and to actually have a long time with him, it’s exciting because now we can actually connect and build that rapport for years to come.”
Through four NFL seasons, Cooks has recorded 3,943 yards receiving on 280 catches with 27 touchdowns. While he acknowledged signing an extension before playing a snap for L.A. is somewhat of a unique situation, Cooks is choosing to believe that in a similarly unique light.
“Not playing a snap here, it just makes me want to go that much harder to [validate] their belief in me the way that they do,” Cooks said. “To be able to get this done before taking a snap in a game shows me a lot, and makes me more motivated to just go out there and be the best I can possibly be and be grateful to my teammates.”
There’s just over a week until Los Angeles reports for training camp, and Cooks is ready to get back on the field — especially now that the deal is done.
“I’m excited for training camp to get here so we can get started,” Cooks said. “Right now, it’s that time you’re getting the itch — like, ‘I want to play football.’ So as soon as camp comes — I can’t wait for that, to get that going, and to get into the season, and to be around our fans, and turn this place up.”