According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the New England Patriots are trading wide receiver Brandin Cooks and a fourth-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams for two 2018 draft picks the 23rd overall pick and a sixth-round pick.
I guess the only thing I can say is wow. This is such a Patriots move that it hurts. No one was expecting the Pats to move Cooks especially after acquiring him just one season ago.
New England traded two 2017 picks (who turned into tackle Ryan Ramczyk and Trey Hendrickson) for Cooks and a fourth-rounder.
They expected Cooks to be the deep threat for the team, but essentially became a second Chris Hogan which made him expendable; especially with Hogan coming back completely healthy after nursing a shoulder injury for most of last season.
The former New Orleans Saint Cooks didn’t finish the 2017 season with bad numbers, as he caught 65 passes for 1,082 yards and 7 touchdowns, but it was the worst statistical output since his rookie season.
Without Cooks, the Patriots receiving core looks like this: (Healthy) Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, Cordarelle Patterson, Phillip Dorsett, and Kenny Britt. Add in Rob Gronkowski and any scat back the Patriots can scoop up to that group.
That doesn’t look as stellar on paper as the beginning of 2017 with Cooks, but the Patriots are the Patriots and they will figure something out. They even recently hosted former Philadelphia Eagles / Buffalo Bills wide receiver Jordan Matthews.
As for the Rams, it is clear that they are going all in. They signed all-pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to a 1-year-deal, traded for all-pro cornerback Marcus Peters, and traded for all-pro corner Aqib Talib. If you acquire three all-pros in one offseason, I don’t think the goal is to win in the divisional round. Add Cooks to that, and the Rams look poised to become the crown jewel of the NFC West.
-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)