New England Patriots traded Brandin Cooks after contract talks stalled

Adam Schefter on Twitter:

Then again, the departure of Cooks means Julian Edelman, coming off a torn ACL, is now Brady's No. 1 weapon, and the MVP's lifeline, Danny Amendola, has also left this offseason.

Los Angeles is sending a first-round choice (No. 23 overall) and a sixth-round pick to the Patriots.

New England also owns the No. 23 and No. 31 overall picks in the 2018 National Football League draft.

Now, they've added a huge weapon on the offensive side of the ball in wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who they acquired in a trade with the New England Patriots.

In the playoffs, he hauled in 10 catches for 155 yards, including one catch in the Super Bowl before getting injured. If Gronkowski is traded, which seems far less likely now that Cooks is gone, the supporting cast on offense could begin to look decidedly lacking.

Cooks' skillset was something the Rams were seeking this offseason following Sammy Watkins departure to Kansas City. These two players likely will be in high demand next offseason, so locking them up now at potentially team-friendly prices could be the way to go for New England.

In addition to trading their picks for better positioning in the draft, the Patriots could also leverage their two first-rounders in a trade for a player.

For the second time in about eight months, the Los Angeles Rams are taking a chance on a wide receiver entering the final year of his rookie contract.

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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.

Cooks led the Patriots in receiving yards in 2017, finishing with 1,082 yards on 65 catches with seven touchdowns. 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 Patriots will have Edelman back in the fold, with Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Malcolm Mitchell (also coming off a season of knee issues), Kenny Britt, and newcomer Cordarrelle Patterson making up their depth chart, with Riley McCarron and Cody Hollister also there for some "break glass in case of emergency" insurance.

If a team trades for Beckham, they're also going to have the cap space needed to sign him to a long-term deal.

Cooks will fit perfectly into Sean McVay's offense as a vertical threat.

The Los Angeles Rams have traded away the opportunity to select early in the 2018 NFL Draft.

NY has reportedly asked for multiple first-round picks for Beckham, something New England now possesses.

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