PFT- The Saints traded receiver Brandin Cooks to the Patriots. In his first media availability as a member of the Patriots, Cooks was asked whether he asked to be traded.
“I didn’t,” Cooks told reporters on Wednesday. “It was a long process. So if we can set this straight, I think a lot of that and what was going on got taken out of context and a little exaggerated, and throughout the process I felt like I had to take the blows and keep my mouth shut, which is fine. It just happened to be a great opportunity for both sides. To be able to build what they want to build and to be sent off to a good team for me I think is a win-win situation. Like I said, the rumors out there and what’s been going on and what’s been told, I don’t let it bother me. I’m just here to play football and that’s what it’s all about.”
I am going to do something relatively dangerous. I am going to speak on behalf of all Saints fans and say that no one thinks that Brandin Cooks literally "asked" to get traded. As his always the case, there's surely a couple radical outliers that have some vision of him kicking open Sean Payton's door and knocking all the pictures off the wall in his home office before spitting on the ground and saying "I'll never play for you again". Quite obviously, that didn't happen. Unfortunately for the disgruntled wideout that fancied himself a business man when he whined about having no targets during a 28-point rout of the Los Angeles Rams, you can ask to be traded without phrasing it in the form of a question.
I don't know if the Saints had their sights set on moving a game-breaking playmaker - who quickly became a secondary target (shoutout to Michael Thomas #shhhh) - that was soon to be due a huge pay raise. I do know the perception that Brandin Cooks was unhappy came from Brandin Cooks himself, and that's more than likely what had Mickey Loomis' phone ringing off the hook. The subtweeting may have been "out-of-context", but his agent having clients that start at quarterback for the two other teams that ended up losing the bidding war is very much contextually relevant. Simply put, he didn't have to demand a trade to make it very clear that he was looking for one. We will probably never know whether or not his desire to be a number one option mirrored the Saints' plans or if it forced their hand. However, he's the one that publicly said "closed mouthes don't get fed" so he's the one that should open wide and eat his humble pie in an offense that spreads the ball around just as much as the one responsible for helping him achieve back-to-back 1,100 yard seasons.
New Orleans - and more specifically Drew Brees - doesn't need Brandin Cooks just like they didn't need Jimmy Graham or the handful of other skill position players that came before him. He's more than likely telling the truth when he says he didn't ask to be traded, but that doesn't mean his actions didn't inevitably lead to that becoming a more and more realistic option.
P.S. On to more pressing matters...