New England Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks is making his return to New Orleans against the Saints on Sunday afternoon. Traded from the Bayou to the defending champs back in March, Cooks’ tenure with the Saints came to an abrupt end after he averaged north of 1,1oo receiving yards in his final two seasons with the team.
We’re now getting a bit more information as to why Cooks was traded. Reportedly, the situation included questions about whether Cooks thought future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees could get him the ball conistently.
“According to multiple sources informed of the situation in New Orleans, Cooks was dealt because of a combination of his unhappiness with his role, his doubts that aging quarterback Drew Brees could get him the ball deep, the Saints’ frustrations with Cooks focusing on his numbers and their disbelief he should be paid like a top receiver,” NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday.
Now, that’s a rather interesting report right there. All Brees has done is pass for 5,000-plus yards three of the past five seasons. He’s considered one of the greatest gunslingers in modern NFL history and has the stats to back it up.
Last season saw Brees rank sixth in yards per attempt and in the top five in yards per completion. While he does rely a lot on intermediate passes and receivers racking up yards after the catch (YAC), the 38-year-old quarters can still lob the ball deep.
Meanwhile, Cooks is now playing with a signal caller in Tom Brady who also relies on the intermediate pass more than the deep ball. One has to wonder whether the suddenly enigmatic receiver will have an issue with another future Hall of Fame quarterback if he’s not seeing consistent deep balls this season.
For his part, Cooks caught just 3-of-7 passes thrown in his direction in the Patriots’ Week 1 blowout loss to the Kansas Ciy Chiefs.