Brandin “Cooks” Up Commotion in New Orleans Saints Off-Season

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 18: Wide receiver Brandin Cooks #10 of the New Orleans Saints runs with the football in the first half of the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 18, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
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The recent antics by Brandin Cooks have New Orleans Saints fans recalling the mid-season issues with the third-year wide-out. Cooks dislike to not receiving a single catch or target in the blowout victory in 2016 appeared to be, at the time, an overblown story by mainstream media. With Cooks and his camp apparently asking out of New Orleans in the past week, the reports now appear to be more reflective of Cooks and his agenda than the media.

Brandin “Cooks” Up Commotion in New Orleans Saints Off-Season

Originally reported as the team shopping Brandin Cooks, the New Orleans Saints were quick to debunk those rumors and set the record straight. The desire for Cooks to move out of New Orleans came from Cooks and his camp.

The reported reasoning was Cooks’ desire to move into a system that made him a primary target. The offense that the Saints run spreads the ball around too much. Also, the emergence of Michael Thomas has impacted Cooks’ top-tier status on the team. Add in the reliable hands of Willie Snead in the slot and a constant focus on the tight end position and it all adds up to a system that makes it nearly impossible for Cooks to attain those 1800-yard, 10-touchdown numbers he desires.

Saints Take to Social Media

While the shocking news of Cooks’ newfound desire to move on would have made enough of a splash in the off-season, social media has kicked this story up a few notches. The posts started with Willie Snead hash-tagging a photo of himself on Instagram #NoBetterQBintheLeague, #CatchingPassesFromTheGOAT and #WhyWouldILeave.

This was followed up by Michael Thomas on Twitter stating “The jealousy will cause people to part ways huh #shhhh”, which Thomas later stated were just lyrics to a song. Almost immediately after the Thomas tweet however, Cooks took to Twitter stating, “Trigger fingers turn to Twitter fingers!”.  Cooks’ post was deleted shortly after the post.

Cooks led the team in receiving yards and yards-per-catch in 2016.  His speed created mismatches against opponents which helped the New Orleans Saints become the top-ranked offense last year. His speed can’t be replaced. However, with the firestorm that the antics of the past week have created, it seems as though the Saints will have a tough time keeping him in black and gold.

The Market

Early report had the Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans as the front runners in the Brandin Cooks sweepstakes. They both have a strong need for a play-maker of Cooks’ caliber, have draft picks to offer and have young talent that may interest the Saints. The New England Patriots have shown interest as well, but their lack of an early pick may hurt their chances to have enough to entice the Saints. There is some speculation that the Patriots may move quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to obtain an earlier pick in an effort to entice the Saints to part with Cooks. All things considered, it appears that the Titans have the most to offer since they have two first-round draft picks this year.

No matter Cooks’ destination, it would be shocking to see the New Orleans Saints make it to the draft the year and still have him on the roster. While it’s tough to fault a player for looking out for his best interest considering what he risks each week, the manner in which this has surfaced has caused unnecessary turmoil in a locker room desperate for all things to right after three consecutive 7-9 seasons.