The Eagles may not need to part with a first-round draft pick in order to land wide receiver Brandin Cooks, according to Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio and The Sporting News.
Marvez tweeted on Friday morning that the Eagles are Cooks' "likely landing spot" and it will "probably" take only a second-round pick to pry Cooks away from the Saints.
However, the Saints have told teams that they are seeking a first-round pick in exchange for Cooks, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Cooks, only 23, has already played three full seasons with the Saints and is one of only five NFL wide receivers to surpass 75 catches and 1,100 yards in each of the last two seasons. The others are Odell Beckham, Antonio Brown, Julio Jones and Jarvis Landry.
Cooks had a breakthrough season in 2015 with 84 catches for 1,138 yards and nine touchdowns and followed that up with 78 receptions for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns this past season.
The Eagles are desperate for wide receiving help, and Cooks would give Carson Wentz the young, inexpensive, productive and consistent force that they’ve lacked since parting ways with DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin.
It's unknown whether the Eagles would make a deal for Cooks without getting him to agree to a contract extension. Cooks is under contract for two more years at $1,563,198 this year with a club option for 2018. If the Eagles traded for Cooks and then were unable to get him to sign a long-term deal, he would become a free agent in two years and the Eagles would wind up unloading a second-round pick for just two years of Cooks.
Over the last two years, Cooks has been among the most productive wideouts in football. His 2,387 receiving yards are eighth-most in the NFL, and his 17 touchdowns are fifth-most.
Among receivers before their 24th birthday, Cooks ranks sixth in NFL history with 215 receptions, seventh with 2,861 yards and 11th with 20 touchdown catches.
Saints coach Sean Payton, a former Eagles assistant coach, told Sirius XM Radio last month he "absolutely" expects Cooks to remain with the Saints in 2017.
In an interview this week with the Saints' official website that took place at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Payton said of Cooks, "I wouldn't say he's on the trade block, but ... we're always listening."
Here’s the full quote from Payton on the Cooks rumors:
"I would say this: It's not uncommon, at this event, where there's a lot of discussion in regard to picks, players. I said this before, Brandin is someone we value tremendously in our system. He's been extremely productive. He's everything we were wanting when we drafted him.
"Now, that being said, these news items come up and there are a lot of meetings that take place here. I wouldn't say he's on the trade block but certainly, when a team calls, a team that's looking for a receiver -- and we’re looking to improve our defense -- we're always listening.
"I know (general manager) Mickey (Loomis) has probably spoken to a handful of GMs or presidents with other teams, but right now I’m comfortable, we're comfortable with (Cooks) in a Saints uniform. We think the world of him and his skill set. (Compensation) would have to be something real significant.
"That's part of being at the combine, it's one of the things that takes place here and that news certainly spreads quicker now than it would 10 years ago."