The New England Patriots didn’t exactly enter the offseason needing another wide receiver with Julian Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola in the mix, but Bill Belichick felt adding Brandin Cooks would put them over the top. And so, that’s what Belichick did, trading a first- and third-round pick for Cooks and a fourth-rounder.
On Wednesday, Cooks talked to the media for the first time since the trade. The first order of business? Clearing up any speculation that he demanded a trade. He said that wasn’t the case and that some things were taken out of context.
“If I can set this straight, a lot of that was taken out of context,” he said, via MassLive.com.
There were reports that Cooks wasn’t happy in New Orleans, suggesting he was frustrated with his role in the offense. He was never a disruptive presence on the team, but the Saints were clearly insistent on trading him to get picks in return.
As for what Cooks thought of the trade, he was thrilled.
“Things happen in life. I was ecstatic to come play for an organization like New England,” he said. “The whole thing was a blessing. Guys do a bunch of different things here. I’m looking forward to that. I feel like I have to earn [Bill Belichick’s] trust first.”
Cooks was a staple in New Orleans’ offense, racking up at least 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. He was one of Drew Brees’ favorite targets, catching 162 passes the past two seasons with 17 of those going for touchdowns.
He’s a big-play threat with tremendous speed, something Brady hasn’t had offensively since the days of Randy Moss. Brees, like Brady, is a great deep-ball passer, so that part of Cooks’ game will continue to be utilized.
“I guess I know how to pick quarterbacks,” he said. “To come into the league right away and play with a Hall of Fame quarterback, that’s going to boost your career right away. He helped me learn about the game from an overall standpoint.”
As for Brady, Cooks is familiar with his game.
“I’ve followed Tom Brady since I was a kid,” he continued. “To have a chance to play with him is just awesome.”
Cooks will provide a spark to an offense that now boasts an outstanding receiving corps to go along with Rob Gronkowski, Dion Lewis, Dwayne Allen and James White. So yeah, the Patriots are loaded (again).