Brandin Cooks traded to Rams

Brandin Cooks traded to Rams

Brandin Cooks traded to Rams

Cooks has 1,000 receiving yards & seven TDs in each of the last three seasons.

- The Patriots will not be trading for Odell Beckham Jr. Wouldn't that be a gut punch for the rest of the AFC East if New England moved up to land a top quarterback prospect? Instead, they find a cheaper replacement through the draft or a cheap, veteran contract.

- Cooks was the 20th overall pick in 2014 and is entering the final year of his rookie contract.

Then on Tuesday, Los Angeles shocked the sports world by trading for Patriots' wide receiver Brandin Cooks. It's a post-trade tsunami National Football League, and fans are just along for the ride.

With the draft picks acquired in Tuesday's deal, New England now holds four picks in the first two rounds later this month and four more picks in Rounds 3-7.

But that would be hard if the Patriots' intent is to trade up in the first round to land one of the coveted quarterbacks in a draft class filled with highly celebrated prospects at the sport's most important position.

The Browns have the first-and-fourth-overall picks in this year's draft, and they have three second-round picks: No. 33, No. 35 and No. 64. Their needs are much more varied going into the 2018 draft.

When I asked a member of the Pats organization in the know if they would be shocked if Belichick moved well into the first half of the first round to land a quarterback, he responded: "Certainly not". Now, with Brady turning 41 in August, it would be shocking if the Patriots didn't draft a signal-caller. Edelman and Gronk should be back on top this season. But rumors have been following Gronkowski around all offseason long. Could they perhaps look to make another blockbuster trade to maximize Brady's few remaining years and compete for a sixth Lombardi Trophy? But it was wide receiver Brandin Cooks, not tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was exiting, and now the question about the Patriots becomes: What's next? Losing him in Super Bowl LII clearly didn't hurt.

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The Seahawks already have to face Los Angeles' daunting defensive front of Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh. Talib and Suh were relatively low-risk moves that are created to be short term. Rosen and Rudolph both seem kind of like logical fits, provided Belichick can manage to deal with some millennials. It shows a lot of chutzpah to make this trade after Watkins didn't quite work out, the sign of an organization that is feeling itself.

The Rams are the only team identified as in hot in pursuit of Beckham, but various reports have mentioned other teams have called the Giants to gauge interest in a trade.

It's impossible to escape the speculation that the Cooks trade is potentially a precursor to a trade for Beckham. But he's going to be paid like one.

Belichick's recent trade for Cordarelle Patterson provided another burner who, although far inferior to Cooks as a receiver, can juice up gadget plays and run clear-outs in addition to enhancing the return game.

The Los Angeles Rams have traded away the opportunity to select early in the 2018 NFL Draft.

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

While Cooks was explosive and productive, he was not a consistent performer and did not appear to have spot-on chemistry with Tom Brady at times. The latest move was said to help out their offense, providing a "big threat" option for the team. McVay will drive opposing defenses insane by running Cooks deep, over the middle and on the shallow crosses where he can do damage after the catch.

The Rams have made it exceptionally clear they are pushing all their chips in for 2018.

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