Sources tell Marvez that it would probably take a second-round pick to land Cooks in a trade with the Saints.
While that could be the case, Ian Rapoport mentions that the Saints are “aiming high” in terms of compensation for Cooks and have told teams they want a first-round pick for him.
Rapoport points out that another issue to consider with a potential Cook trade is the fact that he’ll want a big contract on top of the compensation it would cost them to acquire him in a deal with New Orleans.
A report from yesterday mentioned that the Titans were the team to watch and they were discussing potential deals involving their first-round picks.
“Brandin is someone we value tremendously in our system. He’s been extremely productive,” Payton said, via NewOrleansSaints.com. “He’s everything we were wanting when we drafted him.”
Payton did say that they’re “always listening” but it would take “something real significant” for them to trade Cooks.
“That being said, these news items come up and there are a lot of meetings that take place here,” Payton said. “I wouldn’t say that he’s on the trade block but certainly when a team calls looking for a receiver, and we’re looking to improve our defense, we’re always listening and I know Mickey [Loomis] has probably spoken to a handful of GMs or presidents with other teams. Right now, we’re comfortable with him in a Saints’ uniform and we think the world of him and his skillset, so it would have to be something real significant.”
According to Mortensen, the Titans are considered the more likely suitor for Cooks, but separate sources have conflicting opinions regarding which team is really the favorite to land Cooks in a trade with the Saints.
Mortensen mentions that one scenario involving the Titans involves Tennessee trading the Saints their No. 18 overall pick to the Saints for Cooks.
However, another scenario, according to Mortensen’s sources, is the Titans and Saints swapping first-round picks with the Saints moving up to No. 5 overall and Titans dropping back to No. 11 with another pick or two possibly being in play for this deal.
This may seem surprising to hear, but back in December Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported that Cooks’ frustration with his role in the team’s offense has led some to wonder if this is really the best system for him.
According to Rapoport, there were expected to be trade talks centered around Cooks in the weeks leading up to free agency with the expectation that he would draw interest from other teams.
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.