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NFL Trade Rumors: Buccaneers should pass on Brandin Cooks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Brandin Cooks is on the trade block, and the New Orleans Saints receiver has been linked to the Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans, by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. The potential trade would involve either swapping first-round picks plus a few bonuses from the Titans or Eagles, or the latter just sending their first-rounder to the Saints.

Meanwhile, Saints head coach Sean Payton said at the NFL Scouting Combine that they’d need “something real significant” to part with Cooks. The receiver posted over 1,100 receiving yards each of the past two years, after being drafted with the 20th overall pick of the 2014 NFL draft.

Cooks has been pretty impressive, turning his speed into consistent production despite significant size limitations. In that sense, he’d fit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ need for speed and explosiveness on offense.

But that doesn’t mean they should trade for him, despite some fan enthusiasm I’ve seen around. The issue isn’t just that they’d have to give up a first-round pick, one they could use to pick a different explosive receiver in a pretty deep and high-quality receiving class, but they’d have to give Cooks a massive new contract, too.

After all, there’s no point to trading for Cooks if you’re just going to let him walk in free agency a year later. You’d more or less have to extend him, and that would cost you a lot of capital you could use in different ways in free agency. In other words, you’d be losing a draft pick and an expensive free agent. Which is what they did with Darrelle Revis a few years ago.

All of that means the Bucs probably shouldn’t trade for Brandin Cooks. And, true to form, we have no indication that they will or are even interested in trading for him, despite the predictable excitement of some fans.