Pats To Trade Butler To Saints For Cooks?

The Patriots are considering trading cornerback Malcolm Butler to the Saints for Brandin Cooks, sources tell Dianna Marie Russini of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Patriots have been in pursuit of Cooks for the last week or so, reportedly offering their No. 32 overall pick for Cooks in a race alongside the Eagles and Titans. New Orleans has received several offers of second-round picks for the swift pass-catcher.

Earlier today, the Patriots shocked the football world by signing cornerback Stephon Gilmore in free agency. That move may give them the freedom to trade Butler, a restricted free agent. Butler was tagged with the first-round tender this week. It remains to be seen how unrestricted free agent Logan Ryan factors into all of this, but the early word was that Ryan would probably wind up elsewhere with Gilmore in the fold.

This potential swap would give the Saints a true difference-maker on defense, something they have been seeking in Cooks talks. The Saints were also in search of significant draft compensation (namely, a first-round pick in this year’s draft), and it remains to be seen whether there could also be picks coming in their direction. The Saints still want a quality defensive starter, plus draft picks over the next two years, sources tell Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

Butler has seen his star rise steadily after emerging via one of the most impactful plays in NFL history – his goal-line interception of Russell Wilson in Super Bowl XLIX. He became a key Patriots starter in 2015 once the team moved on from Darrelle Revis and in ’16, Butler finished as Pro Football Focus’ No. 7 overall corner. The Pats plan to use a first-round tender on the fourth-year corner, who would potentially exceed New England’s price range in 2018 if he puts the team in a franchise tag-or-free agency decision.

He of back-to-back 1,100-yard receiving seasons, Cooks would bring the kind of high-end young wideout the Patriots have not employed in years. While the team has gotten by with perceived lesser talents just fine, adding the 23-year-old Cooks would strengthen this offense in Tom Brady‘s final years. New England can no longer count on Rob Gronkowski to be healthy and will lose Martellus Bennett to free agency. Julian Edelman will also be 31 in 2017, putting the team in the market for a younger pass-catcher. Cooks would come with a modest $1.56MM price tag in 2017, but after a fifth-year option season at approximately $8.5MM, could enter eight-figure-per-year territory on his next contract as the cap continues to skyrocket.

Sam Robinson contributed to this post.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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34 comments on “Pats To Trade Butler To Saints For Cooks?

  1. crazysull

    Not worth it for Pats

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    • FrostedDrakes

      Brady would have the weapon he always wanted. And he’s very cheap right now in terms of his deal. He’d be the steal of all steals for the Patriots.

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      • STFU23

        Not really there defense would be weakened without Butler and Ryan

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      • Beantown

        Agreed and after the Gilmore signing butler is now replaceable hopefully we bring back Logan Ryan if this deal happenes

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        • FrostedDrakes

          Patriots will draft Adoree Jackson out of USC. Would solve return problems(cyrus) and could develop into our very own Chris Harris at CB. Think he’d be an upgrade over Ryan at slot.

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      • Brock

        Tom Brady has always had weapons.

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        • Mack83
          Mack83

          Brock,

          Name someone w/ as much speed as Cooks has that Brady has thrown to for more than 1 year…

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      • KCelts

        To be fair, it’s not like Brady needs weapons to look good.

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    • bledrules

      Agreed

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    • Austin0723

      We’ve watched long enough now to know that Bill can work with whoever we end up with so I’m sure whatever happens will be fine

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    • Anthony Joseph

      This has got to be the most crazy decisions the Saints have ever done. 1st off if your gonna trade a young stud, U do it for another young stud or draft picks. This kid is worth a 1st, 2nd or 3rd Rder from this year’s draft and a 1st or 2nd Rder from next seasons draft easy. If you trade him trade him to Tennessee, who needs a WR, for their No.5 in the 1st Rd. if this year’s draft and either a 2nd or 3rd Rd in this year’s draft, and a 1st or 2nd in next year’s draft. Keep our No.11 and we can draft a young stud CB like Marshon Lattimore and at 11 we can draft either LB Rueben Foster or and edge rushing DE. Like this we’ve upgraded

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      • Charles

        Nice dream! When you wake up and realize that the Titans are run by a former Patriots Asst. You will see that he isn’t going g to empty the well to get Cooks. He’s definitely not going to trade that many assets in one move.

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        • Anthony Joseph

          But then the Pats turn around and want everything plus the kitchen sink for an unproven QB. They want Clevelands 1st Rd. pick this year and a 2nd or 1st Rd from next year’s draft. All I’m saying to my fellow Saints fans is that we’re selling ourselves short with either of these 2 deals if we’re gonna trade a major asset like Cooks. To me both of these offers are insulting which is probably why he’s not traded yet.

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  2. Shawn

    Cooks in the patriots system would be insane. It would suck to lose Butler… but Belichick is good at finding defensive players. He’s terrible at evaluating college receivers. This is a risk, but it seems worth taking.

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  3. Carson

    Noooooooo don’t do it Bill

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  4. Jpac

    Bye bye cooks……..hello Mr. Butler!!!!
    Good deal for both teams. Cooks will give New England something they haven’t had in a while and Butler will give the saints something they probably never had a true number one corner

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  5. BoZanga

    If we lose malcom, i feel that the secondary would be weakened a lot, steph gilmore can turn out not what we hope and losing malcom would be noticeable. But its brandin cooks man lol

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  6. James

    This trade would be great for the NFL!

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  7. Shipdawg

    To risky for my saints butler may only be good in a belichick defense not ours. Bill would get over on teams like this if he can

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  8. Shiloh

    I really hope the Saints hold out and get a 1st and 2nd round pick from the Titans for Cooks. Butler just isn’t worth it. He got burned almost all Super Bowl long and we have to face the Failcons twice a year. Not to mention this is a deep CB class. I say trade Cooks for pick 5 and 37 then draft Solomon Thomas, Marshon Lattimore or best CB available. Also consider McCaffery, kids a stud and would fit right into Sean Payton’s offense. With the 2nd rounders grab TJ Watt and Desmond King. IMHO.

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    • JT19

      I doubt the Titans trade the No. 5 pick for Cooks. Also, the Rams still own their second round pick this year (the 5th pick is technically their pick, they traded it last year).

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    • Charles

      Julio Jones begs to differ, he caught 7 balls all in the first half. Second half Butler stoned him. You can keep Cooks! I’d rather see Butler in a Patriots uni next year.

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      • Anthony Joseph

        I hope we don’t do this trade also. We can work out a trade with the Titans for their 5 pick in the draft, keep our 11th pick and get a 2nd or 3rd Rder in this year’s draft then a 2nd or a 3rd Rder in next year’s draft. We can draft a stud CB and an edge rusher or either a CB and a LB and that would fix our defense a whole lot. Maybe add a CB in free agency also. We don’t need Butler. He’s older than the asset we’d be sending to New England. It’s all a win for New England if we were to make this trade.

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  9. I would not make the trade if anything I’d sign Butler for what there paying Gilmore he’s younger and I believe will get even better plus I love the young reciever we have now in Mitchell I think he is gonna be good if Do if anything is sign Butler wide trade 32st pick like they offered and leave it at that and thy better sign Hightower or my season tickets will be up for Bid!!

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    • Tradebutler16

      Gilmore is younger.

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    • ari_7732

      Cooks is the same age as Mitchell I believe

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  10. Chris

    I really want Butler to stay a Patriot. He BELONGS in that uniform. Cast off and a nobody who came out of nowhere and rose to the top of his position or near it. It’s those kinds of stories and players that make up the last 20 years of Patriots football obviously starting with Brady.

    Gilmore is great but this secondary has a tremendous amount of continuity over the last few seasons. Between that and the Rutgers connection they have been so cohesive as a unit. Seeing it broken up sucks but as always… Trust B.B.

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  11. Tmoney

    I love it Cooks gives brady a tryear deep threat and will get the ball to Cooks more than Brees did. Butler is a product of the Pats D and with the addition of Gilmore this trade makes all the more sense. If we can retain Ryan then the pats will be as primed as ever to go for number 6. Bill you wizard you.

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    • Tmoney

      True*

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  12. Lawrence

    You gotta give something of value to get something of value in return. Butler for Cooks makes sense from a talent swap perspective. Of course, Saints will have to commit significantly more cap money over the next 3 years to Butler than Pats will to Cooks, assuming the Saints sign Butler to a new deal.

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    • lame

      pats fans dont adhere to your first sentence. wants multiple high picks for a backup qb but dont want cooks and a pick for #32 and dont think cooks is worth butler straight up

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      • lame

        “want cooks and a pick…” not “dont want”

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  13. crazysull

    The only way I would like this is if the Pats trade Jimmy G and Amindola to the Browns for the 12th pick and other picks and then we do Butler for Cooks(only if it is straight up or if the Saints add more) and we resign Hightower so we can grab a CB at #12 and grab Macafree at #32 and then Cooks could slide right in where as if we still had Amindola we would be overloaded with WRs

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    • browns

      You people get crazier each day. Now it’s #12 AND MORE for Garoppolo and the Browns taking overpaid, injured Amendola. Unbelievable.

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