Saints Trying To Trade Major Offensive Piece
It appears the Saints are trying to cut a deal for their leading receiver. If New Orleans is going to trade Brandin Cooks, what can they get in return?
Last year, Cooks voiced his displeasure with his role in the offense, but did anybody expect the Saints to trade him this soon? To be clear, there is no official deal to be discussed, but multiple outlets have reported that the Saints are openly shopping their former first round pick.
New Orleans did this before. They sent Jimmy Graham packing to bolster their defense, so can they get a similar trade offer for Cooks?
If the Titans and Eagles are interested, what do they have to offer?
It depends on what New Orleans wants. If they want draft picks, similar to the Jimmy Graham deal, Tennessee is the best suitor. The Titans have the #5 overall pick in the upcoming draft, and their general manager already said he would trade the pick away for the right offer. That high in the draft, the Saints would have a shot at selecting an edge rusher like Taco Charlton, Jonathan Allen or a lockdown corner like Marshon Lattimore.
If it's not a first round pick, the Titans also have seven total picks in the top 102 draft slots. They have a lot of pieces to move, but is that what the Saints want for Cooks?
Philadelphia has less to offer in the draft. Their #15 pick in the first round is behind New Orleans in the draft order, so the Eagles would either have to bundle a couple picks or throw in a current player on their roster. Brandon Graham had 5.5 sacks last season and 11 tackles for loss, but would Philly be willing to deal their former first round pick at defensive end?
This is all a guessing game, but the Saints hold an interesting trade piece. Cooks caught 2,311 yards and 17 TD passes the last two seasons, so there is no disputing he can produce.
There's a major difference between this situation and the Jimmy Graham trade though. If the Saints trade Cooks, they still have Michael Thomas and Willie Snead at the receiver position. With Cooks in the mix, it's one of the best receiver trios in the league, but Thomas, Snead and Coby Fleener at tight end are still some nice pieces for Drew Brees to work with.
This scenario might not play out all the way until the NFL Draft, but the Saints sent a clear message to the rest of the league, "If you want Brandin Cooks, give us a call."