The Philadelphia Eagles are one of two teams interested in trading for New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks, according to NFL insider Chris Mortensen. Mort is out here bursting everyone’s bubble by reporting the Titans appear to be the most likely suitor. But he also says “two other sources have conflicting opinions on which team is considered the favorite to acquire Cooks.” So there’s hope for the Eagles.
This is all very interesting. Dating back to late last season, there’s been talk that Cooks wants out of New Orleans because he’s seeking a bigger offensive role. The Saints have a lot of quality receiving talent so there’s only so many targets to go around.
In addition, Cooks is entering the last year of his rookie deal. The Saints can use their fifth-year option on Cooks to keep him under contract for 2018, but they’d probably prefer to work out a long-term extension. And if Cooks doesn’t want to re-sign with New Orleans, trading him could be the team’s best option.
It makes sense that the Eagles would be interested in Cooks. Philadelphia reportedly wanted to select him in 2014 NFL Draft but the Saints traded up ahead of them to get him. (The Eagles ended up with Marcus Smith instead.)
Cooks, who turns 24 in September, would be a nice long-term piece for the Eagles if they could pull off a trade. After a modest rookie season, Cooks exploded for 1,138 yards and nine touchdowns in 2015 before following that up with 1,173 yards and eight scores in 2016.
The fact that Cooks is such a good player means he won’t be cheap, though. The Eagles will likely have to part with significant asset(s) in order to acquire him. And this is why the Titans might be a more likely landing destination; Tennessee has ample draft pick ammo to work with after trading down from the No. 1 overall spot last year. More on that from Mort:
One scenario has the Titans simply trading their first-round pick (No. 18 overall) for Cooks, who was the Saints' 20th pick in the first round of the 2014 draft. Another scenario, per sources, has the two teams swapping slots in the first round, involving the Titans moving from the No. 5 pick (acquired from the Rams) to the Saints' 11th pick, with another pick or two also in play.
If the Titans really want Cooks, it will be hard for the Eagles to outbid them.
Still, it’s good to see the Eagles are being aggressively proactive about trying to get franchise quarterback Carson Wentz some wide receiver help. A Wentz-Cooks combination is something to get excited about if it ends up happening.
Note that trades can’t be made official until NFL free agency begins next week at 4:00 PM on Thursday, March 9. In the meantime, this is a very interesting story to watch.