Brandin Cooks traded to Rams

Receiver Brandin Cooks was traded from the Patriots to the Rams the second straight offseason in which he has been traded

Receiver Brandin Cooks was traded from the Patriots to the Rams the second straight offseason in which he has been traded. More

The more likely possibility that has been floated is the Patriots using some combination of those four picks, which are Nos.

The Rams are ecstatic about acquiring Cooks, who they think will add a defense-altering deep and over the middle threat that was lacking after Watkins signed with Kansas City.

Bill Belichick now has two first- and second-round picks in the upcoming draft after trading Brandin Cooks to the Rams on Tuesday.

The Patriots will have Edelman back in the fold, with Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Malcolm Mitchell (also coming off a season of knee issues), Kenny Britt, and newcomer Cordarrelle Patterson making up their depth chart, with Riley McCarron and Cody Hollister also there for some "break glass in case of emergency" insurance.

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

The Patriots are loading up for a run at Odell Beckham Jr.

The Rams are in a hurry to leverage the relatively low financial cost of young quarterback Jared Goff into their first Super Bowl victory as an L.A. -based franchise.


Also, the 23 pick allows New England, if it so desires, to select in the top-25 for the first time since 2012.

The actual details of any Beckham deal are tough anyway, because he basically requires a top-of-the-market deal for a wide receiver sight unseen.

The Patriots are always looking toward the future and the trading of Cooks in the final year of his contract reflects that. Time will tell if it's enough to outbid the 49ers (No. 9 overall pick), but New England has enough to pique New York's interest. So the Rams will have to decide how to handle both Cooks and Suh becoming free agents next year, while likely wanting to negotiate an extension with Aaron Donald. Cooks was the second-leading receiver behind Rob Gronkowski in 2017.

It's impossible to escape the speculation that the Cooks trade is potentially a precursor to a trade for Beckham. General manager Les Snead has acquired Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters and Cooks via trade this offseason.

So with the Rams out, the Cleveland Browns now emerge as the favorites to be the Giants trade partner if they are going to trade Beckham prior to the draft.

Asking for the first and fourth-overall picks might be too high of an asking price-even for a talent such as Beckham.

The rest of the NFC West: Cooks makes the Rams more hard to game plan against because he can line up inside and out. And this also tells you that the Patriots had no intention of paying Cooks top receiver money after 2018, anyway.

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