By now everybody and their mother has heard about the Brandin Cooks trade, and as usual, the haters and the losers (of which there are many) are filling the air with the same old nonsense that comes around whenever Bill outmaneuvers the entire league and reminds us all why the dynasty will live forever.
You’ve got everything from Skip Bayless suggesting that Bill pulled this move to somehow undermine Tom Brady out of spite stemming from the whole Jimmy G debacle, to a number of people tossing around the idea that Cooks got moved to clear up space for picking up OBJ. 99% percent of what comes out of Skip Bayless’s mouth is absolute nonsensical garbage designed to rile people up and keep him in the conversation and this is no exception, so it does not even warrant further discussion; no need to add any gas to an absolute dumpster fire of a take. The latter rumor, though nearly as preposterous, is worthy of discussion only because nobody will shut the fuck up about it.
Anybody who suggests that there is a chance the Patriots sign OBJ are living in complete ignorance of the history of the Belicheck Era’s relationship with young wide receivers. With a few exceptions in names like Randy Moss, the Patriots have historically been unwilling to pay exorbitantly for wideouts, especially young guys towards the end of their contracts and heading into the payday seasons of their careers. Since 2012 only one Patriots wide receiver has made $5 million in a single season and that was Chris Hogan who got a hefty roster bonus in 2016.
The greatness of Tom Brady is largely to thank for this: he takes young, cheap talent and turns them into highly productive receivers with playoff experience, then Bill kicks them the right out of town before he needs to pay them the big bucks.
Its a formula that the Patriots have perfected over the past two decades of world domination, and under no circumstances would they break from that tradition for a guy like OBJ. Don’t get me wrong, OBJ is among the best receivers in the league and any team that lands him will be better for it, but that team will not be the Patriots. The man has set his mind on becoming the highest paid wide receiver in the history of the NFL, and that shit just don’t fly in Foxborough. Its been reported that OBJ wants in the ballpark of $20 MILLION A YEAR, and the most frugal team in the league is just flat out not going to pay that much for a guy whose hot-headedness and diva antics are the antithesis of the Patriot Way. OBJ is a star with a lot of mileage left, and if he ends up leaving New York there will surely be a long list of teams foaming at the mouth to pay an ungodly amount of money for a guy who has the potential to revitalize organizations and fanbases that have spent years toiling in the waters of mediocrity. The word ‘mediocre’ hasn’t been used to describe the Patriots since the dawn of the new millennium when Bill took the reigns and the Patriots Reign of Terror over the National Football League began, so we can all take the OBJ to the Pats talk and throw it out the window.
Now that the funny business is out of the way, lets talk Brandin Cooks. The dude’s an absolute stud muffin who had a year of solid production for the Pats as TB12’s primary target, catching for a shade over a thousand yards and seven touchdowns. He has preposterous speed and he presented a serious deep threat that only added another layer to a Patriots pass game that had made its name in the slot. He took Jalen Ramsey’s bum ass for a hundred yards in the AFC Championship game, and likely would have had a tangible effect on the outcome of the Super Bowl had Malcolm Jenkins not decapitated him early on in the second quarter. Cooks was a great asset for the Pats and will be the same wherever he ends up, but what it comes down to in the end is that Bill just was not going to pay the man what he had coming. Cooks isn’t some OBJ-type diva who would refuse to step foot on the field until he gets paid with a capital P (he also isn’t an OBJ level talent, but thats not the point), but at only 24 years of age with three thousand plus yard seasons under his belt and just one year left on his contract he would be stupid to not try and get paid what he is worth, and Bill just was not going to do that. It’s cold, its mean, and that’s just business as usual for the most dominant coach in the history of the sport.
And that brings us to the gahd damn genius that is the one they call Bill. I mean the man just does not stop wheeling and fucking dealing and I can’t get enough of it. Every move he makes puts the league on edge because they know that somehow, someway he has gotten the best of them. Last year when Bill decided he would build this past season’s army through trades and not draft anybody higher than the 3rd round, he picked up Cooks in exchange for the 32nd pick. He just dished Cooks and a 4th rounder for the 23rd pick and a 6th rounder which is what we would call a nice return on an investment. For those of you not so good with numbers, the 23rd pick is, in fact, better than the 32nd pick, and the Patriots are now sitting pretty with two first-round draft picks. My man Bill invested the 32nd pick, got a thousand yards and seven touchdown return on his investment, and leveraged that into a nine-spot jump in the draft which may not seem like a ton, but in the first round of a talented draft class that can make a whole lot of difference. Now that it is clear that the Patriots have chosen to dominate the offseason via the draft, the only question remaining is what our boy Bill is going to do to shake the league next.
Will he make the safe bet and draft a much needed Nate Solder replacement? Will he bundle the first round picks and trade for an even higher spot in the draft to pick up the heir to TB12’s throne? The only thing for certain is that we won’t know until Bill wants us to know. Until that time, all we can do is thank Brandin Cooks for a job well done, and continue to block out the haters.