Not often in life do we see a team so eager to part with the man who invented fire, put men on the moon, and invented the smallpox vaccine.
That man, of course, is Brandin Cooks.
The Saints sent Cooks to New England among a swapping of picks on Friday. As the unofficial president of the Brandin Cooks fan club, and therefore the whipping post when he gets zero catches in a 49-point rout of the Rams, I felt it necessary to elaborate on the ripple effects of this offseason's first blockbuster trade.
Let's start with Cooks. I'd say that the Saints passing attack is the best in the NFL, so leaving that environment obviously hurts. He does, however, move to New England which very well may be the second-best passing attack. Tom Brady has a rapport with the guys already there, but I expect Cooks to be a crucial part of that offense. Bill Belichick is a fan as well, which clearly can't hurt.
I bumped Cooks down from WR8 to WR10 following the trade. He's probably going to end up on all my teams (as usual) because I imagine most analysts will have him in the 15-20 range. Cooks may see a tiny dip in his stats, but he'll still be strong.
I don't think it hurts Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, or the running backs too much. It will probably cap the upside of Malcolm Mitchell and/or Chris Hogan, however. Tom Brady is now my QB2, jumping in front of Drew Brees - a man who just lost his best player who also happens to be the future chancellor of the universe.
As for the Saints side, Michael Thomas is now up to WR8, and there's a chance he'll keep moving up. Willie Snead is up to WR35, and that's only going to increase throughout the offseason.
Don't ask me about Ted Ginn, Jr.
Updated rankings can be found here.
Ultimately, I don't see a huge change in production for Cooks. Hopefully New England utilizes him at the line of scrimmage and in shorter routes as opposed to the "clear out" style that New Orleans tended to use, which was the leading cause of Cooks's frustration.
Cooks moved from an efficient passing offense that spreads the ball around to an efficient passing offense that spreads the ball around. It's really that simple. All this trade does is prevent me from buying a Cooks jersey. A Patriots jersey will never rest upon my shoulders...not even if it represents the savior of humanity.
More to come on this front - I guarantee it.