Patriots

Patriots

You could understand it if Brandin Cooks wasn't all that fond of the Saints. 

New Orleans head coach Sean Payton went out of his way to tell the 23-year-old that the Saints weren't looking to trade him. Then when the Patriots offered their pick at the bottom of the first round of this year's draft, there was a change of heart. 

"We spoke to a few teams, and we weren't in a position where we felt like, 'We gotta make this trade or else,' " Payton said during the NFC coaches breakfast at the Arizona Biltmore back in March. "It was the opposite, actually. I had a couple conversations with him, saying, 'This . . . isn't going to happen. We're not interested in just looking to do this.'

"But when we were able to do a deal with New England, which involved a first-round pick, third-round pick, we felt that was significant. We did feel like it was a way to help our team, particularly our defense. Those picks specifically, you don't know how the draft falls, but they're getting a real good player and someone that was obviously good for us."

The Saints said one thing, then did another. And there were some indications even before the trade that the relationship between Cooks and his former club was rocky. 

On a conference call with Patriots reporters following the trade, Cooks indicated that he hoped he'd be able to do things in Josh McDaniels' offense that he wasn't able to do in Payton's. After a blowout win over the Rams last year, during which Cooks didn't see a single target, he said, "Closed mouths don't get fed."

 

Still, Cooks explained on Tuesday that he wasn't focused on New England's Week 2 game in New Orleans as a matter of revenge. 

"It’s exciting, but it’s going to be another game," Cooks said. "I’m not going to treat it any differently. It’s Week 2, so I’ll be focused on Week 1. Once Week 2 comes, that’s all I’ll be focused on.

"It’s not like I put an 'X' on the calendar for that game. I just want to go in, do my job, handle business and let the rest take care of itself."

Maybe once the game has come and gone -- and maybe if Cooks has had an opportunity to fire a few invisible arrows into the Superdome crowd -- we'll hear more on his feelings for the team that drafted him in the first round in 2014 and dealt him away three years later.