A year ago, the team traded away the No. 32 pick and a third-round selection to the Saints for Cooks.
Washington caught 39 touchdown passes and averaged 19.8 yards per catch over his four seasons in Stillwater, teaming up with fellow draft prospect Mason Rudolph to form one of the nation's most prolific quarterback-receiver duos. This trade also comes on the heels of one of Brady's favorite targets in Danny Amendola being signed by the Dolphins in free agency. Rumors surrounding the Patriots possible trading tight end Rob Gronkowski have surfaced too, but that talk is done as well.
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.
The Rams will be without a first-round pick for the second consecutive year. New England now has two first round picks and two second-round picks, with a total of five picks in the first 95.More news: Stella Artois recalls beer bottles that may contain particles of glass
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New England also sent a fourth-round choice to the Rams, and the Patriots got a sixth-rounder from Los Angeles. The Giants have reportedly made it known that Odell Beckham Jr.is available for the price of two first-round picks. Even if he's not a top-10 receiver, Cooks was a quality piece to the puzzle. He also played in every game and didn't appear to have any issues off the field or in the locker room. Secondly, Bill Belichick now owns two first and two second picks in 2018 with which to either load up on young talent, or potentially use as collateral to pull off a blockbuster deal for a bonafide star. 34 and 63) in this month's draft.
Retaining Cooks was likely going to cost the Patriots at least $13 million annually or they would have been forced to apply the franchise tag in 2019, an expensive move.
The Cooks' acquisition is part of an aggressive offseason for the Rams in which they had previously added Ndamukong Suh, Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. Loading up on big-name players doesn't guarantee another NFC West title for the Rams, but they clearly have the division's most talented roster. With another first-round pick in their arsenal, the Patriots will certainly be a team to watch leading up to the draft, as they could go in multiple directions.