The Patriots had their sights set on Brandin Cooks, and two days into the new league year they've landed him.
According to Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran, the Patriots have agreed to send their No. 32 overall selection in this year's draft as well as their No. 103 choice to the Saints. In return, they'll acquire Cooks and the No. 118 pick from New Orleans.
In Cooks, the Patriots have landed a dynamic receiver with the speed to be an outside-the-numbers threat and the short-area quickness to get himself open in the intermediate range that Tom Brady so often likes to exploit.
The 5-foot-10 burner was the No. 20 overall pick in the 2014 draft. He is 23 years old -- about two months younger than Patriots wideout Malcolm Mitchell -- and has one year remaining on his rookie contract as well as a fifth-year team option.
Cooks recorded a career-high in yards last season for New Orleans, racking up 1,173 yards on 78 catches and he scored eight times. The cost for the Patriots -- their first-round draft choice and 15 spots in draft position -- seems reasonable for a player of Cooks' skill set, age and contractual status.
ESPN's Dianna Russini was the first to report news of the deal.
More on Cooks and Patriots free agent doings in this special edition of Quick Slants The Podcast:
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's potential retirement has been the main storyline of the team's offseason workouts. After telling Oprah Winfrey in an interview that he is thinkning about retirement more than he used to, the five-time Super Bowl champion wrote a cryptic response to an ESPN Instagram post.
The photo contained the full retirement quote from the Oprah interview, while Brady's account sent a response saying, "Cuarenta y cinco," which means 45 in Spanish. Brady turns 41 on August 3rd, which would give him at least four more years under center for New England if he wants to play to 45 years old.
There is also the chance that the response alludes to a potential contract extension, in which Brady may ask for $45 million. Brady reportedly wanted a new contract back in April, as he is signed through 2019 making a $14 million base salary that ranks fifth among NFL quarterbacks.
According to MMQB's Albert Breer on Monday, the New England Patriots reportedly talked to four "trusted" teams about a potential trade for the two-time Super Bowl champion pass catcher.
The reported teams were the Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers. The Lions are led by former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia as their head coach. New England's former director of pro scouting, Bob Quinn, is Detroit's general manager. Mike Vrabel, the head coach of the Titans, won three Super Bowls in New England as a linebacker and former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien is the head coach in Houston. San Francisco was New England's trade partner in the Jimmy Garoppolo trade last season.
Gronkowski did not commit to returning to the Patriots until a few days before the draft, and also missed most of the team's voluntary offseason workouts. The Patriots and the tight end are reportedly working on a contract extension.