The New England Patriots have sent wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for a first round pick in this year�s NFL draft.

Brandin Cooks, New England Patriots
Brandin Cooks is being traded to the Los Angeles Rams, with the Patriots picking up a first-round draft pick in the exchange. (Image: Michael Dwyer/AP)

The deal will see New England get the 23rd�overall pick in the draft, along with the Rams� sixth-round pick. Meanwhile, Los Angeles will now take on Cooks as well as New England�s fourth-round pick.

Cooks Gives Rams Deep Threat

By trading for Cooks, the Rams continue to send signals that they believe they can compete for a Super Bowl title in the coming season. Los Angeles has been looking for a speedy receiver that can spread the defense by working downfield, and Cooks definitely fits the bill.

Last season, Cooks made 65 catches for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns while playing for the Pats. He was also one of the most dangerous long threats in the league, tying with DeAndre Hopkins for the most receptions on passes thrown at least 20 yards, with 16 such catches.

That production was enough for the Patriots themselves to look to re-sign the wide receiver. But when talks broke down and it became clear that the Rams were looking for a player that fit Cooks� profile, the possibility of a trade came into being. The Rams will now have to negotiate with Cooks themselves, with ESPN�s Adam Schefter reporting that Los Angeles wants to sign him to a long term deal.

The trade makes sense for both teams. For the Pats, it’s all about maintaining a dynasty. The team has plenty of depth at wide receiver, and are stockpiling draft picks as their team leaders — such as 41-year-old quarterback Tom Brady – near the end of their careers.

Building a Winner

Meanwhile, the Rams continue a shopping spree that has seen them pick up several talented players this offseason. Before the Cooks trade, Los Angeles had already added defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh through free agency, and traded for cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib.

According to a report by the NFL Network�s Ian Rapoport, the trade was not opposed by Brady. Despite the numbers compiled by Cooks, the Patriots reportedly didn�t see the 24-year-old as a true No. 1 receiver, and didn�t want to pay him like one since they felt he didn�t quite fit into their system.

The trade is unusually significant between two teams that both see themselves as Super Bowl contenders in 2018. The Patriots are the top choice of bookmakers to win next season�s championship, with Ladbrokes listing them at 11/2 odds to take home their sixth title with Brady and coach Bill Belichick at the helm.

On the other hand, the Rams continue to climb up the list of contenders. While Ladbrokes still lists them at 14/1 to win the 2019 Super Bowl, other books have been shortening their odds in reaction to the Cooks trade, with Betfred bringing them all the way down to second choice at 8/1. In either case, Los Angeles is clearly seen as being part of the group of teams slotted right behind New England, including the Philadelphia Eagles (8/1), Minnesota Vikings (10/1), Pittsburgh Steelers (11/1), and Green Bay Packers (11/1).