The New Orleans Saints were not actively shopping Cooks when they agreed to send wide receiver Brandin Cooks packing to the New England Patriots, Saints head coach Sean Payton told reporters Wednesday.

The Patriots simply made the Saints an offer they couldn’t refuse.

Payton spoke to the media at the NFL Annual Meeting’s NFC coaches breakfast and said the Patriots’ offer of a first-round pick was “significant” enough to take, via Payton also said it wasn’t a situation were “we felt like we’ve gotta make this trade or else. It was the opposite, actually,” via

The Patriots wound up packaging first- and third-round picks for Cooks and a fourth-round selection. Payton said cornerback Malcolm Butler wasn’t discussed as part of the trade, according to the Boston Herald That makes sense, as it would have been against NFL rules to discuss trading Butler, since he’s a restricted free agent until he signs the first-round tender given to him by the Patriots.

Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images