The New England Patriots traded star wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams on April 3, 2018. The Patriots sent Cooks and a 4th round pick to the Rams while they sent a 1st and 6th round pick to the Patriots. Each team had many reasons to make this trade.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams lost one of their top receivers in Sammy Watkins who totaled 39 receptions for 539 yards and a team high eight TD’s. Cooks will be a good top threat to replace Watkins, although they both have two completely different styles. Watkins is a taller, red zone type who will score more TD’s in the red zone and Cooks is a smaller, faster threat who gets more yardage than TD’s. It will be interesting to see how the Rams offense transitions to having a guy with a completely different style take over as a potential #1 receiver.
Cooks also brings an $8.4 million cap hit to the Rams next year in the final year of his contract. As a consistent 1,000 yard receiver, expect Cooks to be asking for more money in his new deal. It might be hard to pay Cooks as they also have some of their star players such as Lamarcus Joyner, Ndamukong Suh, Aaron Donald, and Tavon Austin all potential free agents that year.
The trade puts the Rams in a tough position draft-wise. They do not pick until the 87th pick in the draft, which is in the third round. They also have three 4th round picks and 4 6th round picks. Don’t expect the Rams to find any elite talent coming out of this years draft.
Overall, the Rams are looking more short term than long term this offseason. With all their trades and signings they have obviously shown that they are trying to capitalize on the small window they have as they made the playoffs for the first time since 2004 last year.
New England Patriots
The Patriots are actually getting their top receiver back in Julian Edelman as he returns from a torn ACL injury. Although they lost another top receiver in Danny Amendola in free agency, they traded for Cordarrelle Patterson and signed Jordan Matthews in the offseason. With those two signings, the Patriots will still have many options for star quarterback Tom Brady.
The main reason New England traded Cooks was because they could not reach a new contract extension. Both sides could not come to an agreement so instead of losing Cooks after a year the Patriots got a first round pick out of him.
This trade helps out the Pats in the draft as they now have picks 23 and 31 in the draft. Don’t expect them to pick at those positions though as head coach Bill Belichick likes to trade up and down all of the time during the draft. Many mock drafts have the Patriots taking players like Boston College linebacker Harold Landry, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, or UCLA offensive tackle Kolton Miller with those picks. It is always an exciting draft for a team when they have two first round picks.
As a result, the Patriots will have a lot of competition at receiver next year. They are valuing youth over continuity in this trade. The Patriots will be finding some new young talent in the draft to develop for the future.