Sean Payton: Patriots' Malcolm Butler schedules visit with Saints

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The alternative route is having Butler sign his tender with New England, worth $3.91 million for 2017, then having the Patriots trade him to the Saints. With a couple of free agency signings and the re-signings of a few of their own players, the Saints aren't sitting quietly by and letting other teams advance.

The 27-year-old was scheduled to meet with the team on Thursday.

"Coming to New England it seems like it's an offense that guys do a bunch of different things and I'm looking forward to being able to do some things that I didn't necessarily have to do in New Orleans, hopefully to get the chance here and do it here", Cooks said.

Butler is a restricted free agent meaning if the Saints put in an offer sheet, the Patriots would have the right to match.

After a week of speculation, the Saints sent Cooks to the Patriots last Friday for a first-round pick (No. 32) and a third-round pick (No. 103), all while sending their fourth-round pick (No. 118) to New England. They regained the 132nd pick (acquired from the Seattle Seahawks in a 2016 draft day trade) with their acquisition of the 118th pick from New Orleans.

SC coach has team performing at peak level
The Gamecocks are led by senior guard Sindarius Thornwell , who averaged 21.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. You can try and argue that he's not the best player on UCLA, but no one else succeeds as much as they would with him.

"Every time I went against them you can just see why it's a first class organization", Cooks said. He intercepted four passes last season and broke up 17. The deal would have moved the Saints from No. 11 overall to the fifth overall slot.

According to Kevin Duffy of, Cooks said he did not request a trade, adding suggestions that he did were "taken out of context". And I already knew that I was gonna be able to come down and be a factor for 'em.

"As far as going into detail on what I would like to do, I'd rather not go into detail", Cooks said. "I love everything about the organization and the people".

Alex Okafor is a great pick-up for the New Orleans Saints in the second week of National Football League free agency, but there is still more work to be done.

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. To be able to build what they want to build and to be sent off to a good team for me I think is a win-win situation.