Brandin Cooks says trade to Patriots was 'dream come true'

The Saints would have to fork over the higher of those picks to the Patriots should they sign Butler as a restricted free agent. Butler is faced with the prospect of either signing the one-year tender offer from the Patriots worth $3.91 million, or pursue a contract elsewhere in either a trade or as a restricted free agent.

Butler could always sign the tender and let the Patriots trade him.

The trade went down nearly two years to the day after the Saints shipped scoring machine tight end Jimmy Graham and a fourth-round pick to Super Bowl XLIX runnerup Seattle for Pro Bowl center Max Unger and a first round pick (No. 31).

Russell Wilson, the Seahawks quarterback, received approximately $1.5 million during his first three seasons, despite leading Seattle to two consecutive Super Bowls and a championship in 2013.

Butler is reportedly not happy with how things have gone down the past year or so.

March 2017: Acquired Brandin Cooks and fourth-round pick from New Orleans in exchange for first-round pick and third-round pick. And while the two sides have not met for a regular-season game since 2013, they've kept within shouting distance through joint practices - as well as trades. It did take the team's first-round pick (No. 32 overall) and their third-round compensatory selection (No. 103) to obtain the former 2014 Saints first-round pick.

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The departure of Cooks became a foregone conclusion once the Saints signed speedy receiver Ted Ginn Jr.

ESPN Patriots reporter Mike Reiss broke down the reasons why Tuesday, starting with the fact that they are different types of corners, with Gilmore a little bigger and longer at 6-foot-1, 190 pounds than Butler at 5-11, 190.

The move to pick up Allen came a day after unrestricted free agent Martellus Bennett tweeted a series of goodbye messages to Patriots fans, signaling his intentions to sign elsewhere.

"I have been in situations where I've split time with other tight ends", Allen said.

Talks of a trade to New Orleans may have died down but Malcolm Butler could still end up in a Saints jersey next season. Now, the Patriots might have an even better one with Butler and Gilmore.

  • Tabitha Byrd