The Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints reportedly had a trade in place this offseason that would have sent wideout Brandin Cooks to Philly in exchange for safety Malcolm Jenkins, a third-round pick and two fourth-round selections, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
The deal was "scuttled at the last minute," according to Rapoport, and likely would have kept the team from signing Alshon Jeffery in free agency had it gone through. They also used that third-round pick to trade for defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan, a major addition who paired with Fletcher Cox to give the team arguably the best defensive tackle duo in the NFL.
Cooks ultimately was traded to the New England Patriots.
That potential trade would have dramatically altered both teams. Cooks, for instance, caught 65 passes for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns this season, second only to Rob Gronkowski on the team in all three categories.
But the implications would have been far greater for the Eagles.
Jenkins registered 76 tackles, two interceptions, one sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery while providing leadership on the defensive side of the ball. Jeffery caught 57 passes for 789 yards and nine touchdowns. Jernigan posted 2.5 sacks and was a major factor in Philly's league-leading rush defense (79.2 yards allowed per game).
Then there's Rasul Douglas, another third-round pick who could have been the one moved to New Orleans. He registered 25 tackles and two interceptions this season, filling in when the Eagles had injuries at cornerback. And Mack Hollins—selected by the the team with one of the fourth-round picks they reportedly would have given up—caught 16 passes for 226 yards and a score while also contributing on special teams.
Had the Eagles made that trade, they may have had a much different look heading into the 2017 season.
Even the Saints would have had a different makeup. Namely, they wouldn't have had the No. 32 pick, used to select tackle Ryan Ramczyk. He started every game for the Saints this season and earned a grade of 84.2 from Pro Football Focus, No. 8 among offensive tackles.
Suffice to say, all three teams won when the Eagles and Saints didn't pull the trigger on that deal.