Brandin Cooks Says He Didn't Request Trade from Saints Before Patriots Deal

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2017

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 18:  Wide receiver Brandin Cooks #10 of the New Orleans Saints reacts after scoring a 65 yard touchdown reception in the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 18, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

In some of his first comments since the New Orleans Saints traded him to the New England Patriots last week, wide receiver Brandin Cooks said Wednesday that he didn't orchestrate the deal.

According to Kevin Duffy of MassLive.com, Cooks said he did not request a trade, adding suggestions that he did were "taken out of context."

In exchange for Cooks and their 2017 fourth-round pick, the Saints received New England's 2017 first- and third-round selections.

Per Jim McBride of the Boston Globe, Cooks said he is looking forward to doing some "new things [in New England] that I necessarily haven't done in New Orleans."

Cooks was one of the NFL's most productive wideouts over the past two seasons, as only he, Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. registered at least 1,100 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns in both 2015 and 2016. The former Oregon State standout has never reached the playoffs in three NFL seasons, however.

Despite being dealt after a productive season and prior to the conclusion of his rookie contract, Cooks insisted Wednesday that he harbors no ill will toward the Saints, according to Phil Perry of CSNNE.com: "No bad blood. I love everything about the organization and the people."

Cooks is leaving a crowding receiving corps in New Orleans that included Michael Thomas and Willie Snead to join one in New England that boasts Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell.

He put up better numbers last season than any of the Pats' receivers, though, and he could emerge as quarterback Tom Brady's No. 1 target due to his ability to hurt opposing defenses either on the outside or out of the slot.