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