You don’t need to go very far back to find an example of me being the Flava Flav to Brandin Cooks’ Chuck D. Back in July, I thought Cooks was still going to be an elite producer for the Patriots despite playing with Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski. I projected him for a season line of 75-1050-7. Interestingly, that wasn’t far off from his 65-1082-7.
Oddly, his actual stat line was considered a disappointment by some – even though when I projected my original stat line, people thought I was nuts. That’s likely because Edelman was out for the year, and suddenly everyone projected Cooks to instantly turn into the next Randy Moss.
I thought it would be interesting to look at players who have been traded since 2010 and how they did after. The problem? I wanted players who had “star” seasons similar to Cooks. I was also ideally looking for players in their prime. Here’s the thing, until this past season trades of wide receivers were rare. Trading a young stud? You’d have an easier time finding a magical pony.
My theory is it takes at least a season for a traded player to adapt to the offense. Hell, you’re not just adapting to the playbook but to the new city you’re living in. It’s not hard to imagine some players have a chip on their shoulder. Maybe they press a bit because they want to prove the team that traded them wrong.
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