Josh Katzenstein of the Times-Picayune, citing two sources with knowledge of the negotiations, reports that at least five teams have inquired about a trade for WR Brandin Cooks including the Titans, Eagles and Patriots.
- According to Katzenstein, the Patriots offered the Saints the No. 32 overall pick as part of a trade package for Cooks, but New Orleans is looking for a pick in the middle of the first round.
- Katzenstein adds that other teams have tried to acquire Cooks for a second-round pick.
- Ian Rapoport confirms that the Patriots have offered their No. 32 overall pick but it wound also include a swap of picks, so it’s not a true first-round pick yet.
- Charles Robinson has heard that the Saints want either a mid first-round pick or a second-round pick and a valuable starting caliber player in return for Cooks.
It has come as a surprise to many that the Saints are fielding trade offers for Cooks, but they appear to be comfortable moving forward with their other receivers and acquiring some draft picks to continue building their defense.
Of the teams tied to Cooks, the Eagles and Titans are in better position to complete a trade for Cooks, given that they have No. 14 and No. 18 overall picks respectively. Tennessee also has the No. 5 overall pick, but it’s unlikely they would be willing to move that pick unless New Orleans was willing to include their own first-round pick.
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 would 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.
We’ll have more regarding a potential Cooks trade as the news is available.