Published: Thu, March 16, 2017
Sport | By Noel Norman

New England Patriots: Brandin Cooks 'Thankful' to Play with Tom Brady

So the Pats might accept the Saints' 32nd and 76th picks (800 points) as comparable compensation to the Texans' first-rounder in order to ship Butler out of the AFC, assuming the Saints also have an acceptable extension in place for Butler. It sounded like the chance to be an all-around receiver - running a variety of routes while aligning in different spots - appeals to him.

Of course, the Saints now have two first round draft choices for the 2017 NFL Draft, after acquiring the 32nd overall pick from the Patriots last week, in exchange for receiver Brandin Cooks.

The Saints traded receiver Brandin Cooks to the Patriots. The Saints could offer a comparable package by sending the Patriots three picks, Nos. As of now, the Patriots will not pick until No. 72 overall in the third round.

Two years ago, Butler was a Super Bowl hero. "When does Belichick trade his highest available draft picks for the present?" What the organization has tried to do over the recent years is pay their core players, control the cap, and keep their draft picks for draft day ammunition to move up when needed.

Rex Burkhead? LeGarrette Blount's had 30 birthdays and, though he doesn't provide the same skillset, the team is clearly intrigued by the 26-year-old Burkhead's versatility and advanced metrics.

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So why is Belichick changing his typical method? But that could be bad news for the likes of Julian Edelman, a soon-to-be 31-year-old who could be supplanted sooner or later by Cooks.

Needless to say things are about to get interesting after an already insane start to free agency this offseason, and it appears that more change is certainly on the way as the Patriots continue building the 2017 version of their roster.

"He knows that Brady's, and his, days are numbered -- obviously". If tight end Rob Gronkowski is healthy next season and Cooks proves his worth, New England could become a matchup nightmare in the red zone. Imagine the types of things offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels can do with that group.

Under Sean Payton and Drew Brees, New Orleans has always been an offense that spreads the ball around, and Cooks hinted he would have liked to have a hand in some duties that went to other players.

Potentially re-signing Dont'a Hightower would be the cherry on top. The No. 10 pick in the 2012 draft, Gilmore was an unrestricted free agent after spending the past five seasons in Buffalo. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe his belief is he's got another two seasons. No one around the league can match the talent on offense, and the defense will once again be one of the best in football. That makes the Ealy trade seem all that more exciting now, doesn't it?

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