Trader Bill strikes again: Patriots reportedly get Brandin Cooks from Saints

It’s been clear for more than a week that the New Orleans Saints were looking to trade receiver Brandin Cooks, and for a few days, the team rumored to be most interested in acquiring Cooks was the New England Patriots.

Well, rumors are now reports.

Brandin Cooks. (AP)
Brandin Cooks. (AP)

Dianna Russini of ESPN reported on Friday night that the Patriots got Cooks, a 2014 first-round draft pick, from New Orleans in exchange for the Patriots’ first-round pick this year (32nd overall) and a third-round pick (103rd). New England will also get a fourth-round pick from the Saints (118th) in the deal.

Earlier this week, Russini reported that the Patriots and Saints were considering swapping players, with New England getting Cooks and the New Orleans getting cornerback Malcolm Butler.

But if this most recent report is true, the Patriots were able to get Cooks, who had 78 catches for 1,173 yards (15.0 YPC) and eight touchdowns last season without giving up their Pro Bowl corner.

The Saints and Patriots are slated to meet during the regular season in New England.

It’s never a given that receivers will quickly master the Patriots’ complex read-based offense, but assuming Cooks is able to quickly get on the same page with Tom Brady, Brady will have arguably the deepest receiving group in the NFL, adding Cooks to a group that already includes Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, Danny Amendola, a healthy Rob Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen, whom New England acquired in a trade with the Colts.

Cooks is entering the final year of his rookie deal and reportedly wanted out of New Orleans.

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