Winning Lombardi Trophies has become old hat, so it looks like the Patriots are gearing up to try and get that NFL Holy Grail they missed out on 10 years ago: an undefeated Super Bowl winning season.
Hours after landing defensive end Kony Ealy from the Panthers Friday, the Pats acquired wide receiver Brandin Cooks from the Saints.
The Pats will give up their first round pick in this year’s draft and their third round pick (103 overall), according to ESPN reports. The Pats receive Cooks and the Saints’ fourth round pick in 2017.
Cooks gives Tom Brady his best deep threat since Randy Moss, and Cooks is considerably younger than Moss was when he landed with the Pats a decade ago. One could easily make the case that Cooks will be the most talented young receiver Brady has ever played with.
The Pats did not have to part with cornerback Malcolm Butler in the deal, which had been rumored. The Pats still own the rights to Butler, but the two sides are in something of a dispute right now.
If Bill Belichick is able to retain Butler, the Patriots will be able to start three former Pro Bowlers in their secondary in the newly acquired Stephon Gilmore, Devin McCourty and Butler.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Friday night that the “Saints and Patriots could still consider a trade later on for CB Malcolm Butler, whose name arose in talks for WR Brandin Cooks, per source.”