Brandin Cooks was reportedly unhappy with his role in the New Orleans Saints’ offense last year, and the belief is that his frustration had a lot to do with the emergence of Michael Thomas. The two teammates do not seem close with one another, either, which probably doesn’t help.
As rumors continue to swirl about possible trades involving Cooks, Thomas created a stir by sending the following tweet on Sunday:
For obvious reasons, most people assumed the comment was directed toward Cooks. You could even argue that Cooks interpreted it that way, as he tweeted and deleted a head-scratcher of his own not long after Thomas sent his tweet.
Of course, Thomas later issued a denial and claimed he was simply reciting a lyric from a song.
If Thomas was quoting a song, it wasn’t a popular one. We did a quick search for the supposed lyric and couldn’t find anything.
Cooks actually racked up slightly more receiving yards last season with 1,173 compared to the rookie’s 1,137. Thomas’ nine touchdowns were one more than Cooks’ total, but Cooks had 78 receptions compared to Thomas’ 92.
While Drew Brees loves spreading the ball around, Cooks seems to think Thomas has emerged as the veteran quarterback’s favorite target. Unless the Saints come down on their asking price for Cooks, the two star receivers might have to find a way to get along.
Bill Belichick has long sung the praises of Brandin Cooks, and apparently that wasn’t him blowing smoke.
NOLA.com’s Josh Katzenstein reports that the New England Patriots offered the New Orleans Saints a first-round pick in a trade attempt for Cooks. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport says in response that the Pats’ proposal involved a swap of picks.
The Saints are listening to trade offers for Cooks, but Katzenstein says the team is seeking a mid-first round pick in return.
The Titans and Eagles have been mentioned as potential landing spots for Cooks in a trade. Cooks’ agents also represent Marcus Mariota and Carson Wentz, who are the quarterbacks of the two aforementioned teams.
Cooks was the No. 20 overall pick by the Saints in 2014. He has caught 17 touchdown passes in the past two seasons and posted over 1,100 receiving yards in both years.
Cooks was frustrated with his role in New Orleans’ offense at times last season, but the Saints intend to keep him if no team meets their asking price.
The Patriots meanwhile appear to be attempting to improve their receivers group. They reportedly want Danny Amendola to take a pay cut, and they could lose Martellus Bennett in free agency. That helps explain their interest in Cooks. They also have been linked to Brandon Marshall.
The New Orleans Saints are said to be exploring the possibility of trading wide receiver Brandin Cooks, and the Philadelphia Eagles could be the front-runner to land the former first-round pick.
A report from Thursday claimed the Saints have had discussions about Cooks with the Eagles and Tennessee Titans. According to Alex Marvez of Sporting News, the former is a “likely” destination.
Cooks was the No. 20 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, but Marvez doesn’t think it would cost the Eagles or any other team a first-round pick to acquire him.
Cooks has eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving mark in each of his past two seasons in New Orleans, but he was essentially surpassed on the depth chart by rookie Michael Thomas, who led the team with 92 receptions and nine receiving touchdowns in 2016. Still, Cooks had eight touchdowns and his 1,173 yards were slightly more than Thomas’ 1,137.
Despite the success Cooks has enjoyed, there have been rumblings that he is unhappy with his role in Sean Payton’s offense. The Eagles are in desperate need of receivers, and one player has reportedly made Philly an attractive destination for free agents. We doubt Cooks would be upset if the Saints sent him to the Eagles.
The New Orleans Saints are reportedly considering the possibility of trading star wide receiver Brandin Cooks this offseason.
According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans are two teams that could have interest if the Saints decide to move Cooks.
While Cooks is just 23 and was a first-round pick in 2014, it is not exactly a surprise that the Saints are gauging the market for him. Cooks put together back-to-back 1,000-plus yard seasons in 2015 and 2016, but there were rumblings that he was frustrated with his role in Sean Payton’s offense last season.
Payton recently said he “absolutely” expects Cooks back with the team next season, but New Orleans already has a No. 1 receiver in Michael Thomas, who caught 92 passes for 1,137 yards and nine touchdowns in an impressive rookie season last year. Perhaps cooks knows he is not going to be Drew Brees’ favorite option going forward and wants to play elsewhere.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks surprisingly did not have a single pass thrown his way in his team’s 49-point scoring bonanza against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, but Sean Payton insists that was not by design.
On Wednesday, Payton was asked about a report claiming Cooks is unhappy with his role in the Saints’ offense. The head coach downplayed it.
“I’m not concerned,” Payton said, via Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com. “It’s a little unusual that we have a game where all of a sudden he’s not targeted, but the first play of the game is supposed to be his play, and we don’t get the right coverage look. We’ll keep working it and finding those opportunities for him to get those touches.”
Eight different players caught a pass from Drew Brees on Sunday, and the veteran is typically at his best when he can spread the ball around. Payton said the Rams made a concerted effort to take Cooks away, so Brees responded by throwing to the open guys.
“He’s a fantastic player and a good man, and we have a great relationship,” Payton said of Cooks. “It’s hard when you do have a game with a lot of numbers like that and a guy like Brandin who works his tail off doesn’t have a target or a touch. Sometimes that can happen, but I would say that’s rare.”
Cooks is third on the team in targets and catches behind two other wide receivers — rookie Michael Thomas and third-year pro Willie Snead. While Cooks didn’t openly complain after he was erased on Sunday, he did post a cryptic message on Instagram.
No player should be upset when his team wins 49-21, but star receivers want the ball. While Cooks may have expected to have a breakout season in his third year, good offenses don’t force the ball to any specific player. Brees isn’t going to do that going forward just because there are rumblings that Cooks is upset, either.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks has been used as more of a big-play threat than a No. 1 receiver this season, and that is apparently not a role he is satisfied with.
Cooks was not targeted in his team’s convincing 49-21 win over the Los Angeles Rams Sunday. While ideally the third-year pro would just be happy that his team got the win, Cooks raised some eyebrows with a cryptic post on Instagram the day after the game.
Perhaps it was not all that cryptic. ESPN’s Mike Triplett reports that sources close to Cooks say the former Oregon State star is growing frustrated with his role in the offense. More specifically, Cooks feels he is being used as a clear-out option to open things up for other receivers rather than being targeted as a possession receiver.
Cooks is clearly capable of breaking big plays, as he has scored on touchdown receptions of 98 and 87 yards this season. While his 51 catches for 736 yards and six touchdowns are nothing to scoff at, Cooks ranks third on the Saints in receptions per game and targets per game behind rookie Michael Thomas and Willie Snead. Cooks is just 38th in the NFL with 75 targets on the season.
It’s hard to complain when your team scores 49 points in a blowout win, but Saints coach Sean Payton still had to answer questions about Cooks’ lack of involvement on Sunday. You can read his explanation here.
At 5-6, the Saints are still alive for a playoff spot in the NFC. Star receivers always want the ball, but Cooks should know Drew Brees is at his best when he spreads the ball around. If he can’t take a few quiet games for the sake of the team, he may end up finding a new home in 2017.
The Los Angeles Rams defense didn’t get a lot right on Sunday, giving up 49 points in a blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints. But one thing they did manage to do was neutralize wide receiver Brandin Cooks.
Saints head coach Sean Payton pointed the finger at the Rams’ coverages for the disappearing act of Cooks, who failed to receive a single target in the Week 12 victory for New Orleans.
“I think part of it’s the result of some of the coverages,” Payton said after the game, per Mike Triplett of ESPN. “There were certainly calls with his name and number on it, and periodically once in a while that can happen.”
The Saints have had the luxury this season of not having to rely on an undisputed No. 1 receiver, but Cooks’ lack of involvement Sunday is still curious nevertheless. Michael Thomas managed 10 targets, Willie Snead got 7, while undrafted tight end Josh Hill earned 6, and it’s not like the Rams secondary is particularly elite anyway.
For the 23-year-old Cooks, who is working on season totals of 51 receptions for 736 yards and six touchdowns, it’s worth keeping an eye on to see if he’s looking at anything of a diminished role moving forward because he can’t celebrate if he doesn’t get a chance to catch the ball.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks is well aware that another NFL player was recently fined for pretending to shoot a bow and arrow, but he insists that is not going to stop him from using it as his preferred method of celebration.
Cooks, who has not yet been penalized for the gesture, has vowed to keep it going.
“I’m going to figure it out, but I’m not going to change it,” Cooks told Larry Holder of Nola.com. “The league will have to deal with it. The reason for why I’m doing it and what’s behind why I’m doing it doesn’t have anything to do with violence. So I’m not going to change what I’m doing to satisfy what the league wants. That’s not what I’m here to do.”
Cooks explained last year that the bow and arrow gesture is actually a reference to a Bible verse in which a young boy named Ishmael survived alone in the desert by relying on his bow and arrow skills. Like the throat slash gesture, the NFL has labeled mimicking a bow and arrow a “violent act.” That means it is supposed to result in a 15-yard penalty, though Cooks has been lucky.
A $10,000 fine like the one Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman received is one thing, but costing your team 15 yards is another. Cooks said he won’t let it come to that.
“Well there are different forms of doing it. You just can’t shoot (the arrow),” he said. “I’m still going to pull it out. Whatever happens after that happens. I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize my team, but I’ll figure something out.
The bow and arrow celebration has become Cooks’ signature move, as he refers to himself as “The Archer” and has an Instagram handle of “thearcher10.”
There’s always a gray area when the NFL passes these new rules, and we saw an example of that when Brandon Marshall was almost fined for this celebration last year. Cooks may have to get creative if he doesn’t want to hurt the team.
There were rumblings last month Randy Moss hadn’t completely ruled out the idea of a return to the NFL after he told Curt Menefee he hasn’t “lost the itch.” As Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks tells it, if Moss were to come back he would be pretty effective, immediately.
Cooks worked out with Moss during the offseason and has seen first hand what the 38-year-old has left in the tank. He apparently saw enough that during an interview on The Jim Rome Show Cooks seemed pretty confident Moss could still make an impact in an NFL game.
“He could step on the field today, this Sunday, and I bet you he could probably go for a 100 yards,” Cooks told Jim Rome.
“He was running with us. It’s not like he was just out there coaching,” Cooks said. “He was actually running the conditioning, running the routes, and he still looked smooth.”
Few who have played receiver have possessed the physical gifts Randy Moss during his prime. So, I suppose, he could have lost a step or two and a few inches off his vertical and still have plenty to spare. That said, as it is often noted, game speed is very different than that of offseason workouts. But hey, Cooks was there and he knows what he saw.
Moss last played in 2012 with the 49ers and posted a modest 28 receptions for 434 yards and three touchdowns. His last 100-yard game came against the Colts in 2009. The odds may be against him on hitting the century mark, but as a Randy Moss fan I wouldn’t mind seeing him go long for a deep ball once more for old time’s sake.
The Philadelphia Eagles have the 22nd overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, and they are suddenly in the market for a wide receiver. Riley Cooper had a breakout season with Nick Foles last year, but he is not a true No. 1 receiving option. DeSean Jackson was. Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks believes he can be.
In fact, Cooks believes he can outperform Jackson if the Eagles decide to draft him as a replacement.
“(Jackson’s) game is unbelievable,” Cooks told Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com on Thursday. “The man can blow the top off, catch the deep routes, catch the underneath routes, produce in the return game. He’s just special. He’s a freak. I definitely admire his game.
“Maybe Chip Kelly is looking to take another speedy receiver in that first round, and that could be me. Who knows? And if that’s the case, a lot of people will wonder, ‘Can he do it like DeSean Jackson?’ In my opinion, I can do it like him and do it better.”
Cooks is one of the best prospects in a draft class that is loaded with receiving talent. He caught an eye-popping 128 passes for 1,730 yards last season with the Beavers. He averaged 13.5 yards per catch scored 16 touchdowns, so we know he can be explosive. Jackson averaged 16.2 yards per reception last year — eighth in the NFL — and has averaged 17.2 throughout his career.
“I put up numbers that nobody else did this year,” Cooks added. “At the same time I was facing premier talent. I have respect for the other guys and give credit where credit is due, but I’m able to blow the top off, I’m able to catch underneath routes and take them the distance, but I see myself right up there with those guys, and in that top-five conversation, top-three.”
Doing it against secondaries in the Pac-12 is much different from producing against NFL defenders. You have to admire Cooks’ confidence, but he has a long way to go before he can call himself better than DeSean.