Patriots trade receiver Brandin Cooks to Rams for first-round pick

New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore

On Tuesday, the New England Patriots sent a jolt through the National Football League trade market with their surprising trade of wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams.

The Rams had been trying to acquire Cooks for more than a year.

According to ESPN, the Patriots attempted to re-sign Cooks before talks broke off, and the Rams now will continue those talks with the intent to sign Cooks to a long-term deal. It now makes you wonder if the Patriots now have their sights set on moving up even further in the first-round to potentially draft a quarterback, which could ultimately be the heir apparent to Tom Brady.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network tweeted on Wednesday that Brady is "not sad" about the Patriots' decision to trade Cooks to the Rams. "I don't believe the Patriots' intent was to go that high for Brandin Cooks".

Don't expect OBJ: Some of the immediate reaction on Twitter was speculation the Patriots would pursue Giants receiver Odell Beckham a trade now that the Rams - who had discussed the possibility - were out of the mix and the Patriots had assets to do it. New England is giving a fourth-round choice to the Rams.

- The Patriots did try to re-sign Cooks. He spent his first three seasons with the New Orleans Saints.

The Rams will also receive the Patriots' fourth-rounder and send a sixth to Foxboro to consummate their acquisition of Cooks, the 24-year-old blazer coming off his third consecutive 1,000-yard campaign, a one and done with the Patriots. They could stand pat and keep their first- and second-round picks as is - Nos. "Loading up on big-name players doesn't guarantee another NFC West title for the Rams, but they clearly have the division's most talented roster".

Retaining Cooks was likely going to cost the Patriots at least $13 million annually or they would have been forced to apply the franchise tag in 2019, an expensive move. Losing him in Super Bowl LII clearly didn't hurt. Now in 2018, with Cooks due $8.5 million on the fifth-year option from his rookie deal, they now sit at 23 in the first round of 2018. However, now that the Patriots are armed with two first-round picks - said to be New York's asking price for its star receiver - they have emerged as an intriguing potential suitor for Beckham's services. The Patriots still have Edelman, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell as their top three receivers, with Kenny Britt, Cordarrelle Patterson and Phillip Dorsett providing depth.

With his considerable speed - Cooks ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine back in 2014 - Cooks likely slots in as Los Angeles' vertical threat, helping to offset the loss of wide receiver Sammy Watkins in free agency.



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