The deal with newest Patriots
The Pats made a pair of trades yesterday for defensive end Kony Ealy and wide receiver Brandin Cooks. They sent a second-round pick to the Panthers for Ealy and a third-round selection, while dealing their first-round pick and another third to the Saints for a fourth-round pick and Cooks.
Here is what they’re getting:
• Ealy was drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft (60th overall) out of Missouri. His high-water mark came in Super Bowl 50, where he likely would have been named MVP had the Panthers won. In that game, he made three sacks, an interception and forced a fumble.
• Cooks was the 20th overall pick in 2014 out of Oregon State. The Patriots have gotten an up-close-and-personal look at the wide receiver as they have held joint practices with the Saints in each of the last two seasons.
• Ealy has been an on-again, off-again starter for the Panthers. He only missed one game in his time in Carolina but has started just 15 over the last two seasons.
• Cooks has seen his production spike over the last two seasons. In 2015, he caught 84 passes for 1,138 yards (13.5 yards per catch) and nine touchdowns. Last season, the 5-foot-10, 189-pound speedster caught 78 passes for 1,173 yards (15.0 yards per catch) and eight touchdowns. This past year, he was second on the team in receptions, as teammate Michael Thomas caught 14 more balls, but Cooks had 36 more yards, including a 98-yard touchdown against the Raiders in the season opener.