- Adam Schefter points out that one of the reasons why the Saints decided to trade Cooks now was because he had a $781,599 roster bonus due on the fifth day of league year – Monday.
A trade was expected to come today and it was clear that Cooks was likely headed to either the Patriots or the Titans. However, it appears as though the Saints preferred the Patriots package of picks to what Tennessee was offering.
It’s worth mentioning that Cooks will need a contract extension at some point in the next year or so, which could prove to be very costly. However, he gives the Patriots another impressive weapon to create mismatches for opposing defenses.
As for the Saints, they made it clear that they wanted to get some picks in return for Cooks, who was reportedly unhappy with his role in the team’s offense, and use them to continue building their defense. New Orleans now has two more premium picks to use in what is considered to be a great defensive draft for the most part.
Cooks, 23, is a former first-round pick of the Saints back in 2014. He’s entering the final year of his four-year, $8.4 million contract and stands to make a base salary of $781,599 for the 2017 season.
New Orleans will have to decide whether to pick up his fifth-year option in the coming months.
According to OverTheCap.com, trading Cooks will free up $1,563,198 of available cap space while creating $1,104,264 in dead money.
In 2016, Cooks appeared in 16 games for the Saints and caught 78 passes for 1,173 yards receiving and eight touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 28 receiver out of 115 qualifying players.