Rams plan to sign Brandin Cooks to extension before season starts

Adam Schefter on Twitter:

The Patriots lose the receiver who played the most snaps for them in 2017, but in return, they gain a ton of flexibility in the upcoming National Football League draft. Cooks is ultimately an upgrade on Watkins.

The New England Patriots have traded receiver Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams for the 23rd overall pick in this year's draft. After not having many picks in recent drafts, the Cooks trade will give the Patriots a chance to add some much-needed youth across their roster.

Snead has now given up his first- and second-round picks in this draft to get Cooks and one year of Sammy Watkins.

The identity of said quarterback, however, remains up for debate as the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets are highly likely to draft Josh Allen and Sam Darnold between them. With two first-round picks (No. 23 and No. 31), the Patriots have what it takes to get in the Beckham Jr. conversation right now.

Encouragingly for the Pats, the decision to move Cooks seems to reveal that tight end Rob Gronkowski, who reportedly has pondered doing something else for a living this year, is gung-ho about continuing his career.

The trade also appears to be a strategic move on the part of the Patriots: Cooks is entering the fifth year of his rookie contract, and he can become a free agent after the 2018 season.

Cooks hauled in 65 receptions for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns last season and was sorely missed in the second half of the Super Bowl after being knocked out of the game with a suspected concussion.

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The New England Patriots have done a lot more trading down in the NFL Draft than trading up during the Bill Belichick era, but they could make an exception this year as they search for the heir apparent to their 40-year-old quarterback.

Firstly, they got more in return for Cooks than they did for Jimmy Garoppolo.

The trade is somewhat of a surprise move for New England considering the chemistry he quickly developed with Brady.

The market for wide receivers has skyrocketed this offseason.

But clearly, Rams head coach Sean McVay sees Cooks as a potential No. 1 wideout in his offense.

NY has reportedly asked for multiple first-round picks for Beckham, something New England now possesses. While he wasn't always an efficient deep threat, Cooks helped to stretch the field with a speed element the team otherwise lacked. They also have the No. 95 pick in the third round as well as two sixth-round picks and a seventh-round pick as they look to try to add some assets or talented players in a time when their top stars are aging and getting closer to retirement.