Breaking Down The Patriots Trade Of Brandin Cooks

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However, his year ended on a low note went he was knocked out of Super Bowl LII with a concussion in the first half. Now, with Brady turning 41 in August, it would be shocking if the Patriots didn't draft a signal-caller. When the Patriots sent Garoppolo to the Niners at last year's trade deadline, Belichick said that he'd had the best quarterback situation in the league before the deal but that it wasn't, in his view, sustainable.

- The Oregon State product is also one of just three players with 1,000 or more receiving yards and five-or-more receiving touchdowns in each of the last three seasons.

Cooks' clear chemistry with Brady makes the trade fairly surprising for New England, particularly after the recent departure of another favorite Brady target, Danny Amendola, who signed with the Dolphins. The team still has a downfield threat in Chris Hogan, while Julian Edelman and Malcolm Mitchell are on track to return from knee injuries after missing all of 2017. There's a good chance we can put all of that retirement talk to rest too, because the Patriots probably wouldn't have traded away such a productive offensive player if they were still uncertain about the future of their most productive offensive player. With that move, New England now has two first-round picks and two second-rounders - Nos. The Patriots have traded Cooks to the Rams for Los Angeles' first-round draft pick, 23rd overall. There are plenty of Day 1 options available: from Heisman Trophy victor Baker Mayfield, to the intriguing Lamar Jackson, to the polarizing Josh Allen. Trading up to get one of the draft's high-profile quarterbacks would not be particularly Patriots-like.

Our explainer begins with New England. Obviously the Patriots feel they can replace him. The offense around Brady needs some help.

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Playing alongside established receivers Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, and talented young tight ends Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett in the passing game, Cooks should get open plenty and will rarely see double coverage. Cooks is eligible for free agency following the 2018 season. The defense was not exactly overwhelming last season, either.

But if this move was made by Belichick with a quarterback in mind, it makes sense.

The Bills still have a stronger collection of draft picks to work with, but the Patriots aren't far behind.

Trading up to select one of the draft's high-profile prospects is not something the Patriots are known for - they prefer trading back to acquire additional picks - but history means nothing if they fall in love with one of this year's top signal-callers.

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