It’s been a bit since we’ve heard something on the Brandin Cooks trade rumors front, so here’s a slight update from NFL insider Ian Rapoport.
#Saints continuing to talk with #Eagles, #Titans & #Patriots in a potential Brandin Cooks deal. They want a picks or someone to affect QBs— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 8, 2017
A few days ago, the Titans were reportedly in the lead to get Cooks. But it apepars the Eagles are still in the mix.
Do the Eagles have anything the Saints want? Philadelphia does own eight picks in the 2017 NFL Draft. But the Titans potentially have even more to offer since they own two first-round selections along with two third-round picks.
How about “someone to affect quarterbacks?” The phrasing on that is interesting. One would assume it means a defensive end, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Take Mychal Kendricks, for example. He’s a linebacker but one of his best skills is rushing the passer. The Eagles are reportedly going to trade Kendricks this offseason so this also fits Philadelphia’s plans nicely.
I don’t think the Eagles want to give up their first round pick at No. 14 in order to get Cooks. I also don’t think they’ll have to. In a vacuum, Cooks is a very good player who would warrant a first-round pick. But when you apply the context, his value isn’t as high. It seems like he’s destined not to return to the Saints so it’s not like they have all the leverage in this situation. New Orleans should be able to get a good return for him, but it might not be as high as they ideally prefer. Multiple NFL insiders have reported Cooks could be available for a second-round selection.
I wonder if something like the Eagles’ 2017 second-round pick and Kendricks would interest the Saints. Or how about Vinny Curry? The Eagles handed Curry a big extension last offseason to only play him 40.5% of the team’s snaps. He only had 2.5 sacks, but his pressure numbers (hurries, hits, etc.) were better than his sack number indicates. Trading Curry would create $8 million in dead money compared to only $1 million saved. Some might suggest the Eagles could offer Connor Barwin but I don’t see it. As we clearly saw last year, he’s not a good fit as a 4-3 defensive end.
We’ll probably hear more resolution on the Cooks situation very soon. NFL free agency officially begins tomorrow, Thursday, March 9 at 4:00 PM ET. Teams will want to know where Cooks is headed so then they can decide what to do at wide receiver in free agency accordingly.