Winners, losers from Brandin Cooks trade: Patriots have options

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In a stunning trade, the New England Patriots have traded wide-receiver (WR) Brandin Cooks and a fourth-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for the Rams first-round and a sixth-round pick.

The Los Angeles Rams are "that team" flirting with greatness.

But even with the Rams now out of the picture, it's unlikely the rumors surrounding a potential Beckham trade will cease. They were listening to offers, but the asking price of two first-round picks may have just been too high for the Rams.

Now, the Patriots will likely look to replace Cooks either with a rookie in the draft or a veteran in free agency. The Patriots have traded Cooks to the Rams for Los Angeles' first-round draft pick, 23rd overall.

Cooks, 24, was acquired last spring from New Orleans for the 32nd overall pick in last year's draft. I would not be surprised if he is moved between now and day three of the draft.

Cooks has been an impact player throughout the early course of his career, recording three straight seasons of at least 1,000 yards receiving since 2015.

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Flowers is one of the most underrated defensive ends in the league, who hadn't received any national attention until the end of last season.

But with receivers like Allen Robinson and Sammy Watkins earning deals this offseason that will pay them around $15m annually, New England may have felt dissuaded by their chances of keeping Cooks on an appealing contract after this coming year.

With Cooks gone, the Patriots have a hole at receiver. The 34th overall selection came in the trade in which quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was sent to the San Francisco 49ers.

The Rams are ecstatic about acquiring Cooks, who they think will add a defense-altering deep and over the middle threat that was lacking after Watkins signed with Kansas City. But moving on from Cooks certainly can't cause as much trouble with No. 12 as it would if they jettisoned, say, Rob Gronkowski or Julian Edelman.

The Bills still have a stronger collection of draft picks to work with, but the Patriots aren't far behind. "Rams like this situation better", wrote Schefter on Twitter. But the Rams are now projected to have roughly $250 million in salary-cap space going into the next two offseasons, more so than any other team.

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