By now you’ve heard the news first reported by Adam Schefter that the New England Patriots are trading WR Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams along with a 4th-round pick in exchange for their 1st rounder this year (23rd overall) and a 6th-round pick coming back. At first glance, I’m not stunned, I’m honestly a little surprised it took this long.
Cooks has a special ability at the position and flashed his potential during his lone season in Foxboro, the reason why Sean McVay was surely compelled to make the move. The Rams get a great outside threat that they can plug-in immediately as a weapon for Jared Goff. With only one year left, the Rams will have to pay him, which they can afford to do since unlike most of the league, since their QB isn’t eating up a ton of cap space still on his rookie deal. With the money receivers have gotten this off-season alone, you can see why Bill Belichick was inclined to move Cooks with just one year remaining on the deal.
Meanwhile, New England has quietly stock-piled five draft picks in the top 95 slots in the draft that is three weeks away including a pair of first and second rounders. The Patriots have a great deal of holes still remaining, and they can use this extra first rounder to add an edge rusher like Ohio State’s Sam Hubbard, an offensive tackle in the back-end of the first round or as some experts have chimed in on Twitter, use their collection of picks to move up and draft their next franchise Quarterback.
Tom Brady is the greatest of all-time and just threw for 500 yards in the Super Bowl, he’s showing no sign of his age, but he will be 41 in August and it would not be wise to be unprepared for the future of the franchise at such a critical position. If a guy like Josh Rosen or Baker Mayfield slips enough where they are comfortable to make the move up, and he fits the profile of what they and specifically Josh McDaniels are looking for in the next guy, then you make the move.
The Brandin Cooks trade just gave New England all sorts of flexibility of what they can do on draft night to improve their roster next season and in the future. With Julian Edelman and Malcolm Mitchell back to full health and with Chris Hogan, Kenny Britt and newly signed Riley McCarron in the fray at the WR position, they can afford to move Cooks and add a draft pick to address another area of the team. I’m all for this trade and Patriots fans should be too.
Follow Frank Pimentel on Twitter: @FrankBostonTank