April 24, 2018

Pats deal WR Cooks to Rams

05 April 2018, 12:28 | Ken Black

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In exchange, the Patriots received the Rams' first-round and sixth-round picks and while the deal makes sense for both franchises, the reasons behind the trade are likely to be heavily scrutinized, particularly in New England. For a man who loves to manipulate the draft by moving up, down, and adding picks for future drafts, this gives him options aplenty at the end of the month. Cooks is ultimately an upgrade on Watkins. Expect the San Francisco 49ers and now, the New England Patriots, to be considered potential destinations.

The two sides couldn't come to an agreement and the Patriots traded the former Oregon State star wide receiver to the Los Angeles Rams Tuesday afternoon. The juiciest - but most unlikely - is the Patriots trading those two first-rounders for Odell Beckham Jr., meeting the ransom the Giants reportedly want for the mercurial receiver. New England will send a fourth to the Rams and get a sixth in return as well.

Brandin Cooks spent all of one season in New England before the Patriots chose to move on from the speedy wide receiver.

Cooks led Patriots receivers in targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns in his one season with the team, but he has just one year remaining on his current contract at a cap hit of almost $8.5 million, according to Over The Cap. If they keep picks 23 & 31, I think wide receiver and tight end could be in play.

Cooks is scheduled to earn about $8.5 million this season in the final year of his rookie contract.

Sean McVay's offense put up an NFL-leading 29.9 points per game in 2017, and whilst Cooks will certainly improve their receiving corps, the deal looks even better from a Patriots' standpoint.

Cooks was acquired last March from the Saints with the Patriots' first-round pick going to New Orleans. The Patriots now hold four picks in the first two rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Cooks was a productive player in his one season with the Pats and seems headed to a fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season.

But for now, the focus moves to what the Patriots will do with those picks, and there are several options.

Earlier in the offseason, the Rams made trades to acquire Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, and the team signed Ndamukong Suh in free agency. New England has two first-round picks for the first time since 2012, while, as of now, the Rams' highest pick is in the third round, 87th overall.

New signing Cordarrelle Patterson, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Riley McCarron, Cody Hollister, Kenny Britt, Malcolm Mitchell are all under contract and should soften the blow of Cook's departure.

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