Cooks, who had been highly productive in New Orleans, admitted at the end of November that he was frustrated with his role in the Saints offense, even though he'd be one of just three National Football League receivers - along with New York's Odell Beckham Jr. and Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown - to have at least 75 catches, 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns in the past two seasons.
The former Oregon State star wide receiver is now a member of Super Bowl champion New England Patriots after the New Orleans Saints traded him last week. If Butler signs with another team, the Patriots will get that team's first round.
Titans general manager told 104.5 The Zone Nashville on Monday that he did not offer the No. 18 overall pick in trade discussions for Cooks. If not, the organization notorious for its players providing minimal substance behind public words and speaking by the PR book will be pleased with Cooks' conference call with reporters Wednesday.
Now a restricted free agent, the Patriots' cornerback is able to sign an offer sheet from another team.
"Oh boy, no, I didn't", Cooks said.
If the Patriots have to wait until pick No. 72 to make their first selection, it will be their longest wait since last season when they didn't have a first-rounder (that whole DeflateGate thing) and took cornerback Cyrus Jones with the 60th overall pick.
Even before the Patriots bestowed a monster contract on cornerback Stephon Gilmore last week, there has been speculation about Malcolm Butler's future. "But at the same time this is a very emotional game and every once in a while you have to express that and you have to express what you want".
Payton and Patriots coach Bill Belichick are friends. In 2016, he had 63 tackles, four interceptions, 17 passes defensed, one forced fumble and one sack. And I already knew that I was gonna be able to come down and be a factor for 'em.
That means it's fair to assume Cooks will be targeted more often on more efficient routes in an offense that, well, like he said, allows "guys do a bunch of different things".
As his name surfaced in trade rumors a week ago, Cooks and Saints receiver Michael Thomas appeared to engage in a passive-aggressive back-and-forth on Twitter.