Today, the Patriots traded their talented WR Brandin Cooks and a fourth-round pick to the LA Rams for their first-round pick (23rd overall) and a sixth-round pick. The deal comes only one season after the Patriots acquired Cooks from the Saints for the 32nd overall pick in last year’s draft. With the Patriots favorite target Julian Edelman on IR for all of last season, Cooks turned in a respectable 2017 performance, totaling 65 receptions for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns. The previous year with the Saints, he totaled 78 receptions for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns.
The trade comes as a surprise after WR Danny Amendola left for the division rival Miami Dolphins and questions regarding whether or not star TE Rob Gronkowski will continue to play remain open-ended. Recent reports suggested that the Patriots would be willing to trade the tight end given his supposed unhappiness with the culture in New England, but trading Cooks and letting Amendola walk suggests that Gronkowski will remain in New England for now. The 23rd overall selection opens up the door for the Patriots to select a lineman to replace departing OT Nate Solder, or a wide receiver such as Sutton, St. Brown, or Kirk. Their 32nd selection still gives them the opportunity to sure up their front seven or draft one of the tight ends projected at the end of the first round.
The Rams get a speedy deep threat wide receiver to replace departing Sammy Watkins (now with Kansas City) to pair with WRs Tavon Austin, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp. The Rams continue to make moves to sure up their position atop the NFC West and capitalize on the momentum that they have generated this offseason. If Jared Goff takes the next step in his development, this team could easily find their way into the NFC Championship game. The Rams moves indicate that they are acutely aware that their window may close quickly, as RB Todd Gurley and QB Jared Goff are still on their rookie contracts, and GM Les Snead is doing everything in his power to put the team in the best position possible to win within the next two years. Cooks will play this season on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal. After which, the Rams will need to franchise or sign the wide receiver to a long-term deal.
Photo Credit: NESN