Over the last few days trade talks surrounding New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks are really taking off. Last season they were simply rumors but this time it has been confirmed by the Saints organization directly.
While some of the trade offers and scenarios have no real credibility to them, some of them do. So far the Saints have received offers from the Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots.
Here at Canal Street Chronicles we have already reported on the Titans (18th pick) and Eagles (43rd pick and Mychal Kendricks) offers but the most recent one from the Patriots occurred yesterday evening. The Patriots have reportedly offered their 32nd overall pick (1st rounder) as a package for Cooks, according to NOLA.com’s Josh Katzenstein.
If the Saints choose to move Cooks, they're hoping to receive a draft pick in the middle of the first round, according to two sources with knowledge of the negotiations.
That package according to Ian Rapoport would “involve a swap of picks. Not a true first rounder (yet).” It is unclear what Saints pick the Patriots requested as part of the trade but at this point no offers have been accepted by the Saints.
It appears what Mickey Loomis said holds true “It will take an awful lot to trade Brandin Cooks” but it’s not surprising that no one has offered up the Saints asking price yet. It is still very early and it’s smart for teams to start with low ball offers but the more teams become interested in Cooks the higher his value could rise. It’s no different than when teams increase a free agents market value while competing for their services.
What’s most interesting about the Patriots offer though, although less than the Titans, is the recent history of the teams. Head Coaches Bill Belichick and Sean Payton have worked together and the teams regularly hold joint practices during training camp. The two teams also have a history of trading players and draft picks with one another. Will we see another transaction occur between the Saints and Patriots?
It’s been covered time and time again, not just this offseason, but for years that the Saints must improve their defense. The Patriots have a handful of players the Saints could be interested it. The issue is they are all presumably free agents in a few more days. Don’t’a Hightower, Malcom Butler, Logan Ryan and Jabaal Sheard would all bring much needed value to the Saints defense but being impending free agents it doesn’t seem any of them could be used as trade value.
So far two 1st round picks (#18 and #32) appear to have already been turned down for Cooks. It’s definitely looking like it’s going to take an awful lot to pry him away from Sean Payton. With Cooks being a major part of the Saints offense and with his 5th year Option still available next year, the Saints have all the leverage. So if you want this young play maker it’s time to open your NFL wallet, 2nd rounders need not apply.