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Patriots pick up WR Cooks' contract option

By Alex Butler
Patriots pick up WR Cooks' contract option
Former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks (10) pulls in a Drew Brees pass for 42 yards late in the third quarter on December 24 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

April 29 (UPI) -- Tom Brady's newest pass-catching weapon will be with the New England Patriots through at least the 2018 season.

Former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks had his fifth-year option picked up by the team Saturday, according to the NFL Network.

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Cooks is due $781,599 in 2017, in addition to the $781,599 roster bonus he got in March. The 23-year-old had a career-best 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns on 78 catches last season. In 2015, he had 1,138 yards and nine scores.

The Patriots landed Cooks and a fifth-round pick in March in exchange for a first-round and third round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

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"Well, first of all, once I found out about it I was thankful for the opportunity to play in New Orleans and the opportunity they've given me there; no bad blood," Cooks told reporters when he was traded to the Patriots.

"I love everything about the organization and the people. Things just happen in life. Second thing, when I found out about it I was ecstatic to be able to come play for an organization like New England and play for a guy like coach [Bill] Belichick and Tom [Brady] and Mr. [Robert] Kraft and his family. The whole process was a blessing as soon as I found out. I couldn't be more thankful throughout this time, and as far as the praise from coach Belichick, I've never known about it. At the end of the day I feel like I have to earn his trust when I come in and play and continue doing what I've been doing."

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Cooks joins Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, and Danny Amendola in the Patriots' wide receivers corps. The franchise also added tight ends Dwayne Allen and James O'Shaughnessy this offseason.

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Cooks' option is expected to cost the Patriots $8.459 million in 2018.

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