The Patriots made a monster move late Tuesday afternoon as they traded away Brandin Cooks, their second-leading receiver from the 2017 season. Cooks is headed to the Los Angeles Rams, and in return Bill Belichick is getting Los Angeles’ first round pick in this month’s draft (23rd overall). The Pats will also receive a sixth round pick from the Rams and they are giving LA a fourth round pick.
It’s unclear whether or not the Patriots will hold onto the first round pick as Belichick is one to often trade out of the first round entirely, let alone make two selections in it. The trade also raised immediate speculation online that the Pats could be interested in making a move for disgruntled Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr..
Beckham and Pats quarterback Tom Brady have been playing love tag on Instagram in recent months as Beckham posted a video of Brady and himself celebrating, respectively, with the caption, “OBJ GOAT chasin.”
Brady also completed a Lil Wayne rap lyric on Beckham’s Instagram page as Beckham posted, “Quarterback Weezy, young Tom Brady, open up ya mouth…” Brady finished the line with, “And catch a bomb baby,” accompanied by a championship trophy emoji.
The mutual admiration has been going on for quite a while, even offline. In the preseason of 2016, the two exchanged jerseys after an exhibition between the Pats and Giants.
“He’s a great young player and I love watching him,” Brady said of Beckham at the time.
“Any time you get a chance to talk to somebody like that, [Brady] has made the playoffs for a very long time,” Beckham said of the Pats QB. “It’s pretty cool. It’s fun to be able to sit out here and watch him.”
There had been rumblings that the Patriots were looking to trade Cooks for weeks but most of the chatter occurred before and during the first week of NFL free agency. Many believed the Pats were looking to dump Cooks and perhaps use that money to spend on an elite free agent, but that did not come to fruition.
The Cooks trade also calls into question the status of Rob Gronkowski, Brady’s top target in 2017. There were several reports this past weekend that suggested Gronk may be on his way out, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter believes that the Cooks trade signals that No. 87 is here to stay.
“New England trading Brandin Cooks to LA means that the Patriots will not be trading Rob Gronkowski this offseason as some have speculated,” Schefted tweeted Tuesday night. “Pats will rely on Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Rob Gronkowski, amongst others.”
Of note, Schefter also tweeted, “New England is now armed with double 1s, double 2s, and in prime position to move up in the draft and select a QB if it so chooses.”