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What Patriots' Brandin Cooks trade could mean for the Buffalo Bills

05 April 2018

Cooks led Patriots receivers in targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns in his one season with the team, but he has just one year remaining on his current contract at a cap hit of almost $8.5 million, according to Over The Cap.

Los Angeles will not pick until the third round with the 87th overall selection.

A first-round pick by the Saints in 2014, Cooks last year had 65 catches for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns in his first year with New England. New England now has the ammo to pair one of the most dynamic wide receivers in the National Football League with the game's best quarterback.

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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. New England, under Belichick, have never been the type of team to give up valuable, cost-controlled assets for star players. Entering the final, fifth-year option of his rookie contract, Cooks was due for a massive extension this offseason or next.

Obviously the Patriots will have to part ways with some of their picks if they want to move up in the pecking order, but at least they have options. The New York Jets gave the Indianapolis Colts four picks in March to move up three spots in this year's draft.

"On the surface, trading a first-round draft pick for Brandin Cooks when the Rams already have Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods on their roster might seem like a luxury, but when you look at the Rams personnel usage in 2017, another top receiver was a team need".

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The draft picks include the number 43 overall pick, which the Patriots received from the San Francisco 49ers in the trade that took Jimmy Garoppolo to California. The difference in draft capital between the Bills and Patriots is the equivalent of an extra first-round pick on the various draft value charts. With another pick at No. 31 overall, the Patriots are in good shape to find Tom Brady's eventual replacement.

Brandin Cooks makes a catch against Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII.

Cooks' skillset was something the Rams were seeking this offseason following Sammy Watkins departure to Kansas City. 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.

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What Patriots' Brandin Cooks trade could mean for the Buffalo Bills