Photo from: New Orleans Saints WR Brandin Cooks always expects to play fast – New Orleans Saints Blog- ESPN
The New England Patriots are on the prowl to add a playmaker for Tom Brady. In exchange for New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who is on the trading block, Bill Belichick and the Patriots offered a package of assets which included their No. 32 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, according to NOLA.com.
According to Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal, the Patriots are in the market for a No. 1 receiver.
In the past four months the Patriots have put trade offers in for DeAndre Hopkins and Brandin Cooks. Looks like they're after a No. 1 target
— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) March 5, 2017
The Patriots have spent the previous two training camps doing joint practices with the Saints allowing Belichick to get a good look at the speedy receiver. For as long as cooks as been in the league, ironically enough, Cooks is the same age as Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell. Cooks is actually two months younger, so you can see Belichick is trying to set up his wide receiver core for the long run.
Cooks finished the 2016 season playing 16 games, and 78 receptions for 1,173 yards and eight touchdown receptions. He’s been playing with an elite quarterback in Drew Brees, so adjusting to Tom Brady should not be much of an issue. Cooks has the potential to put up even more impressive numbers, however, he has been playing with emerging wideouts, Willie Snead and Michael Thomas. It’s the second consecutive season Cooks has produced over 1,000 yards.
Cooks is still on his rookie contract, which ends after the 2017 season. However, the contract includes a fifth-year option, as he was a first-rounder in the 2014 NFL Draft. After that, he would likely demand a major contract, if he continues to produce at the level he’s currently performing.
The Patriots wideout group includes a burner in Chris Hogan, Michael Floyd, and a handful of smaller receivers in Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, and Malcolm Mitchell. Standing at 5-foot-10, Cooks is similar in height to most receivers the Patriots are accustomed to in their offense. The difference, however, is Cooks is an electric receiver. He would bring a completely different dynamic element to the Patriots offense. Edelman is the closest comparison, though Cooks has proven more of a downfield threat than the New England slot receiver.
It will certainly be fascinating to see what the Patriots do once free agency officially kicks off. New England’s wide receivers are interesting because Danny Amendola’s future with the team is in jeopardy due to his contract, so he’ll have to take a pay cut to stay with the team. Michael Floyd, who was claimed off waivers midseason, is a pending free agent after he serves his jail sentence for a DUI. There have also been reports that Brandon Marshall is interested in signing with the Patriots.
We’ll see what happens as free agency kicks off, but it looks like the Patriots are going to give Tom Brady weapons for another Super Bowl run.
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