"Well, first of all, once I found out about it I was thankful for the opportunity to play in New Orleans and the opportunity they've given me there; no bad blood," Cooks said, via Boston.com. "I love everything about the organization and the people. Things just happen in life. Second thing, when I found out about it I was ecstatic to be able to come play for an organization like New England and play for a guy like coach (Bill) Belichick and Tom (Brady) and Mr. (Robert) Kraft and his family.
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"The whole process was a blessing as soon as I found out," Cooks continued. "I couldn't be more thankful throughout this time, and as far as the praise from coach Belichick, I've never known about it. At the end of the day I feel like I have to earn his trust when I come in and play and continue doing what I've been doing."
Cooks then quipped: "I guess I know how to pick quarterbacks, right? I'm looking forward to it. I've followed Tom Brady since I was a kid, so to be able to have a chance to play with him is awesome."
While it's nice of Cooks to leave New Orleans with grace, it's important to recognize that he's not getting dealt to the Browns, Rams or 49ers here. For a potentially dominant 23-year-old wide receiver, getting traded into New England's offense with a still-electric Tom Brady is like hitting the lottery -- especially considering where he played previously. The 2014 first-round pick could potentially have a huge season, and he could be one of the most desirable receivers on the open market once his current contract runs out in 2019.
That was on its way to happening in New Orleans, where Cooks caught 162 balls for 2,311 yards and 17 touchdowns over his last two seasons before the Saints acquired Michael Thomas. It might have not have caused a significant drop off in 2016 but as Thomas becomes more engrained in the offense, Cooks might have seen his targets diminish.
It won't necessarily be easy to carve out a role in an offense with so many potential weapons, but as we've seen with the few premier wideouts Brady has played with, the reward is exceptional. Cooks is probably the most ballyhooed wideout Brady has played with since Randy Moss in 2007-09.