April 30, 2017

Texans interested in trading for Malcolm Butler

16 March 2017, 12:39 | Simon Arnold

There's a big problem with all the Patriots' perfect moves

Patriots land WR Brandin Cooks in trade with Saints

That is the cost in compensation under the terms of the restricted free agent tender extended by the Patriots. Did the Saints win their trade with the Patriots. New England might just get Cooks for one season, and if the season doesn't end in a trip to the Super Bowl, it could be a letdown.

A deal is in the works for that would see Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler end up playing for the Saints. 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.

Butler's tender with the Patriots remains unsigned. He was drafted 20th overall in the first round by the New Orleans Saints in 2014 after having a very successful career in college at Oregon State University. The Patriots don't necessarily have to eclipse that $3.91 million if another team doesn't.

Allen said on a conference call that he had an idea he might be traded, but didn't think he'd wind up with the Super Bowl champions.

One of the teams reportedly interested is (still) the Saints. While the Patriots paid quite a price by giving up such a high pick, the age and talent of Cooks is worth it.

A person familiar with the deal says the New Orleans Saints have agreed to trade receiver Brandin Cooks to the New England Patriots.

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Conversely, if the Patriots decline that offer and elect to keep Butler this year, he is free to sign anywhere else he pleases next offseason as an unrestricted free agent.

It makes sense for Cooks to gravitate to the slot, given that outside receivers not named Randy Moss typically don't fare as well in the New England system. There's talk about this deal still not being over, with the Saints potentially looking to acquire Patriots CB Malcolm Butler, but as it stands now, the deal is over.

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. Gilmore may be a high-priced addition at $13 million per year, but considering he's replacing Logan Ryan who signed with the Tennessee Titans for $10 million per season, New England didn't overpay. The market didn't materialize for Hightower like he expected as a free agent, but he does appear to have a big-money offer on the table from the New York Jets.

"As a young guy, there were some things I'd like to have did more; not like I wasn't able to do them, we just had great guys doing those other things, so if it's not broke, why fix it?"

Whether the bridge is beyond fix or not, the third scenario seems optimistic more than realistic at this point. He caught six touchdown passes last season, three of which came against New England's AFC East rival New York Jets.

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