If you got the sense that Thursday morning’s agreement between the Patriots and free agent cornerback Stephon Gilmore was more about Malcolm Butler than Logan Ryan, you may be right. 


According to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the Patriots are considering trading Butler to the Saints in a deal for receiver Brandin Cooks. 

The Patriots’ interest in Cooks is well-documented, as it was reported over the weekend that the team had offered the 32nd overall pick to the Saints in a deal involving Cooks but were rejected. 

Cooks, 23, has up to two years left on his rookie contract and would  cost less in the short term than Butler, a restricted free agent set to make $3.91 million next season before becoming unrestricted free agent. It would stand to reason the Patriots would be interested in his services, as Danny Amendola is 31, Julian Edelman will turn 31 in May and Chris Hogan will turn 29 next season.