New England Patriots traded Brandin Cooks after contract talks stalled

The Rams were clearly interested buyers here, with multiple reports indicating they chased Cooks for weeks, ultimately sending the No. 23 overall pick and a sixth-rounder to New England.

While Rams' quarterback Jared Goff might have hit the lottery, NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal took a look at some of the other winners and losers after the trade. 23, 31, 43, and 63 overall - or they could package a pair together in a trade to move up the draft board. 40-year-old Tom Brady's plan to play another five years could be changing with the reported infighting in New England. But we do know wideout Brandin Cooks is on the Los Angeles Rams now.

The transaction also means it is unlikely the Rams remain in the sweepstakes to acquire Odell Beckham Jr. from the New York Giants. Los Angeles sent a second-round pick past year to the Bills for Watkins, who was a season away from free agency, then watched him sign a large contract last month with the Chiefs. The now-former Pats receiver apparently wasn't seen as a "true No. 1" in New England, and "wasn't a great fit" for their Brady-led offense.

Besides being one of the best receivers in the league, Cooks is also one of the most durable.

Cooks was second on the Patriots last season in receptions with 65 and receiving yards with 1,082.


The Patriots now own two first-round picks (theirs and the Rams'), two second-round picks (theirs and the San Francisco 49ers'), and a third-round pick.

The Rams would like to not have a repeat of this past offseason where they lost their top receiver who they had traded for the previous offseason.

With three 1,000-yard seasons in a four-year pro career that began with New Orleans, Cooks would likely be a coveted player after another big year, and the Patriots may not have been willing to pay a high price to keep him and may be looking to get maximum value now. The Patriots would have been happy to have him back in 2018, but this deal was obviously sparked, in part, by assessing the chances to retain him after his contract expired following this season.

The Patriots receiver depth chart now includes Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Kenny Britt and Malcolm Mitchell, with Rob Gronkowski at tight end. The last time the Patriots had two first-round picks in 2012, Belichick moved up to draft Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower, two players who helped transform their defense. Cooks is scheduled to earn $8.459 million in 2018 and the Patriots trading him Tuesday now frees up some salary cap space for them this season.


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