Los Angeles Rams Acquire Brandin Cooks from the Patriots

Posted April 05, 2018

But that proved to be just a one-year rental, as ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Patriots flipped the receiver for the same return by trading him to the Los Angeles Rams for a first-round pick and a swap of third day selections.

Watkins was in the same contractual situation when the Rams acquired him from Buffalo during training camp past year, and he parlayed a solid season in Los Angeles into an enormous contract elsewhere.

The Cooks' acquisition is part of an aggressive offseason for the Rams in which they had previously added Ndamukong Suh, Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. The Patriots nearly certainly won't trade into the top-five, but they could move into the top 15 if they're in love with one of the many QB prospects in the draft. In addition to that, he is also an upgrade over Watkins.

New England trading Brandin Cooks to LA means that the Patriots will not be trading Rob Gronkowski this off-season, as some have speculated.

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The tight-end's future has been subject to speculation since he admitted he was contemplating retirement after the Patriots lost the Super Bowl against the Philadelphia Eagles in February.

For a while, the Rams were linked to Odell Beckham Jr, of the New York Giants.

Brandin Cooks #14 of the New England Patriots looks on before the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium on January 21, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Either way, the Patriots made a shrewd move dealing Cooks.

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Cooks, 24, was a first-round selection for New Orleans Saints in 2014 and quickly emerged as one of the NFL's most unsafe deep threats. They owned No. 31 overall as an original pick and now have No. 23.

Cooks is scheduled to earn about $8.5 million this season in the final year of his rookie contract. In those deals, the Rams gave up this year's first- and second-round pick and next year's second-round pick, their intentions crystal clear: They'll try to build a dominant team now and worry about the rest later.

With five picks in the first three rounds, the Patriots now have a chance to re-shape their roster with some top young talent.

Though Watkins had only 39 catches a year ago, the August trade with Buffalo didn't land him with the Rams until training camp was done.

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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.