This is the first in a series of  three crazy Patriots predictions that will either make me look like a genius, or will most likely make me look how I usually do … like a fool.

The more I think about this Brandin Cooks trade, the more I smell a Falcons fan’s underwear heading into overtime. New Orleans fans are in an uproar, moping down Bourbon Street and sobbing like all the other 31 NFL teams. They feel like they were mugged by a masked man wearing a gray hoodie in a dark Louisiana alley. And they may have a case.

Butler in Cooks Clothing?

You didn’t hear much weeping from Saints fans when the trade rumors involved Malcolm Butler. The idea of adding a top-five shutdown corner to a defense that had been terrible for years had Louisianans firing back shots like Mardi Gras was 365 days long. And at the time, the rumors were coming from the Patriots insiders.

No doubt everyone in Patriots Nation breathed a sigh of relief and rejoiced when the news came down that all Cooks cost was a late first round pick and a slight jump to the third round. But before we celebrate this trade with a Gronk spike, let’s consider this.

I’m concerned that what we had to give up for Cooks was as pathetic as the Jets taste in quarterbacks. Keep in mind, that the Cooks-for-Butler trade could never be made because Butler has yet to sign his $3.9 million dollar tender. So I ask this: is the Cooks for the 32nd pick just a placeholder for the real trade—the original Cooks for Butler rumor once he signs his tender?

For the record, if the Patriots do in fact trade Butler to the Saints for their original first round pick, I’ll be as pissed as a Falcon fan hearing the phrase, “25 point lead.” I “like” the Gilmore deal, as long as they keep Butler and do what’s right … pay him!


If Butler is shipped out of town, I will HATE the Gilmore deal for several reasons. Let’s get one thing straight. Butler is better than Gilmore. Period. 100 out of 100 times. The Patriots have always preached that if you do your job, perform well, and keep your mouth shut, we will eventually reward you. Butler has done exactly that—for 3 years at about a half-million a year.

If they don’t give Butler what he deserves (which is top five corner back money) they completely lose this dynamic in the locker room. The mindset of players hoping to cash in at some point with the Patriots will be, “Well if Malcolm never held out, never said a word, worked his tail off, and played for peanuts for three years, what the hell makes me think they’ll pay me?”

Since 2008, from this Patriots fan’s perspective, the most entertaining year to watch was 2014. Why? Because for the first time since 2007, that defense slapped teams around like Kip at a Rex-Kwon-Do class. Revis and Browner for one year was awesome! Compared that to Butler and Gilmore for five years? Make it happen William Belichick!

So I beg you almighty Hoodie, pull a Red Auerbach and sign Butler to the same contract as Gilmore, but give him $1 more like Red used to with Bill Russell over Wilt Chamberlain. This way Patriots fans will be happy, Saints fans will stay miserable, and poor Kip from Napoleon Dynamite can get another fresh one right upside his pimpled face!

Patriots fans, please follow me @StevenViner1 and I will follow you back!