Report: Saints turned down Titans’ No. 18 pick for Brandin Cooks

By Jesse Reed

Based on the offers the New Orleans Saints have reportedly turned down for Brandin Cooks, it doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere this offseason.

The franchise reportedly turned down the New England Patriots’ first-round pick last week. The Saints have since been in contact with the Tennessee Titans and other teams about a potential trade, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

Now a report indicates the Saints turned down the No. 18 overall pick, owned by the Titans, to hang onto Cooks.

New Orleans drafted Cooks with the No. 20 overall pick just a few years back in 2014. He’s been a stellar contributor for the franchise the past two seasons, logging 162 catches for 2,311 yards and 17 touchdowns, so he has absolutely lived up to his hype.

However, it’s been reported that Cooks isn’t happy in New Orleans, where he isn’t the featured guy.

He’s reportedly behind the trade talks to begin with. This indicates he might not be interested in re-signing with the team next season when he becomes an unrestricted free agent, assuming the Saints don’t pick up his fifth-year option, of course.

Head coach Sean Payton spoke about the team’s willingness to part ways with Cooks during an interview at the recent NFL Scouting Combine. He said he knows the team has to improve defensively, which is why a potential trade is a consideration to begin with (more on that here).

However, based on what’s happened of late, it seems the Saints are not keen on letting him go at all. Even if they could certainly land a top defensive player with the No. 18 overall pick in this deep draft. It’s going to be fascinating to see what happens next, because it’s hard to imagine the Saints getting a better offer than this.