Titans, Cooks, and something in return
At this time, the Titans and Saints have not made a trade.
One day of expectation has led many to “throw out” suggested trades the Titans should make. Most of the suggestions are “I love my team so give them nothing” suggestions and that’s simply not happening. I understand the sentiment, but the Titans will have to offer something of significance in trade.
A week or so ago, the rumored trades were trading a 5th for the Saints 11th, trading the Saints the 18th pick, or trading a series of picks where the Saints get the higher pick in several rounds. The Patriots, reportedly, offered the Saints their 32nd pick in round one and were turned down.
This morning, Ian Rapoport posted that the Saints were still interested in moving Cooks and looking for a pick and/or a player that can get after the quarterback. He mentioned that they were in talks with the Titans, Eagles, and Patriots.
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Yesterday, Kenny Britt supposedly posted that he was going to be an Eagle. I don’t see the tweet. The last tweet I see from Britt is January 9th. Many suggested the Eagles weren’t interested in Cooks anymore. Two things- “Britt stuff” is clearly rumor, with no factual basis, and Rapoport stated the Eagles were involved in Cooks talks. Please allow this to squash this line of thinking.
All we know is the Saints want “more than the 32nd.” That’s it.
There has to be some sort of realistic thinking as to what the Titans will give up for Cooks in trade. Our suggestions don’t matter. Jon Robinson isn’t fielding ideas, but I do like to “play this game” too. It has to be where the Titans offer something of value.
Running through some-
Dennis Kelly- Cooks is worth more than a backup lineman.
Angelo Blackson- He too is a backup lineman. The suggestion is fine, he was inactive a bunch, but it would have to be Blackson plus something else.
Antonio Andrews- He is a free agent, so not a commodity they can trade.
Harry Douglas- He is not the same “caliber” of wide receiver as Cooks.
Jason McCourty- He didn’t do well last year and wasn’t rated highly by any cornerback metric. I wouldn’t figure he is enough to fetch Cooks in return.
David Bass- He is a free agent, so not a commodity they can trade.
Kevin Dodd and Austin Johnson- I’ve written about their struggles to make a significant impact as rookies. Many rookies don’t make a significant impact. Teams usually feel that the rookie “got their feet wet” and in year two, they will perform better. The Titans staff’s opinion of these two is private. One of them for Cooks may be possible. Both were highly regarded a year ago. They were second round picks though and the Saints are seeking “better than 32nd.”
Ken Whisenhunt- Amusing suggestion, but he is no longer with the team.
Jurrell Casey- No way! He is a huge key to the Titans defensive success. This is too much to offer for Cooks.
I think the Titans will continue to discuss draft picks as trade. They went through a house-cleaning just a couple of years ago and are not that deep of a team. They don’t have a lot of commodities to offer in trade. Basically, they need what they have and can’t afford to lose anyone of significant value.
The fifth pick in the draft is quite valuable. It is worth more than an even swap for Cooks. The 18th is probably reasonable.
The projected timeline was that Robinson would sign free agents and “fill in the blanks” with the draft- any position that he couldn’t net in free agency, he would address in the draft. This Cooks trade “jumps the gun” some and wrecks that timeline.
This is a draft that is well-stocked with defensive back talent and tight end talent. It also has several defensive linemen and inside linebackers that the Titans could use.
With no second round pick, to give up the 18th pick for Cooks, the Titans would miss out on a lot of these highly coveted draft prospects.
There is not a team with “a few” second round picks. Robinson does not have a trade partner to trade the fifth pick for “a few second round picks” as has been suggested. The fifth pick should net a very special player that plays for the franchise for many years. It is also a position the Titans surely hope to never be in again because their record is good. Aside from a trade partner not being available, I imagine Robinson wants that special player. The second round could net some very good players, but they won’t be as good as the player gained from the fifth pick. That’s the very nature of the draft.
I enjoy this “what if I were GM” game too. Keep playing until the Titans do make some moves. Just try and keep it more realistic.