April 25, 2018

Rams found price for Odell Beckham Jr. 'exorbitant'

05 April 2018, 01:22 | Donald Newman

Brandin Cooks is headed from New England to Los Angeles

Brandin Cooks is headed from New England to Los Angeles

Of course, there is a door No. 3 for the Patriots to walk down in an effort to win as much as possible before NFL MVP Tom Brady is ready to hang up his cleats: Trade for Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

The more likely possibility that has been floated is the Patriots using some combination of those four picks, which are Nos. But it's very obvious the Patriots are capable of inserting themselves into the quarterback discussion when draft day rolls around.

On the surface, Bill Belichick and Co. have lost their 2017 leading rusher (Dion Lewis) and two of their top three leading receivers (Cooks and Danny Amendola) this offseason.

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.

Edelman will return to his status as the Pats' No. 1 wideout in 2018, while Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Kenny Britt, Cordarrelle Patterson and Malcolm Mitchell will serve in supporting roles. Recent reports, however, suggest the 28-year-old will be back in a Patriots uniform for 2018. Losing him in Super Bowl LII clearly didn't hurt.

The Browns have the first-and-fourth-overall picks in this year's draft, and they have three second-round picks: No. 33, No. 35 and No. 64. He can snag a new left tackle, another wide receiver, and most importantly, a quarterback for the future.

Now in 2018, with Cooks due $8.5 million on the fifth-year option from his rookie deal, they now sit at 23 in the first round of 2018. With the reigning NFC West champions trying to fill a need and continuing to be aggressive in the trade market to assemble a win-now roster, the Patriots likely saw an opportunity to extract maximum value for Cooks.

Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski: Cooks led the Patriots in targets last season.

It's impossible to escape the speculation that the Cooks trade is potentially a precursor to a trade for Beckham. Other moves have included the signing of defensive players Ndamukong Suh and Sam Shields as well as trades for the Denver Broncos' Aqib Talib and Kansas City Chiefs' Marcus Peters. The trade puts a lot of pressure on Snead to make this Cooks partnership last, and there is already reportedly interest in extending Cooks' contract. But it wasn't until a chance meeting between Belichick and Rams head coach Sean McVay that a deal started to materialize. Cooks is ultimately an upgrade on Watkins. With all those picks, it's hard to imagine that strategy changing. "It would surprise me a little bit", Schefter said on "Get Up!".

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