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Surprise: Patriots trade WR Brandin Cooks to the Rams after just one season

New England is changing their offense, yet again

Super Bowl LII - Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Here’s a shocker: The New England Patriots traded wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Patriots will send Cooks and a 2018 fourth round pick to the Rams for their first round pick, 23rd overall, and a sixth round pick. The trade has been in the works “for over a month.”

The Patriots now have the 23rd and 31st overall picks, along with the 43rd and 63rd overall picks. New England will have a lot of flexibility to move around the draft and now there’s a chance they could move up in the first round to select a quarterback if they wish.

New England previously acquired Cooks and a fourth round pick from the New Orleans Saints for a first round pick (32nd overall) and a third round pick. This means the Patriots rented Cooks for a season in exchange for moving up the draft in the first round. It also suggests that New England and Cooks were not going to be able to reach a long-term extension.

Cooks had a successful first season with the Patriots, racking up 1,278 yards and 7 touchdowns.

Schefter notes that the trade means the Patriots will not be trading Rob Gronkowski as had been speculated around the internet. The Patriots will have Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett (and Kenny Britt!) from last season, will expect Julian Edelman and Malcolm Mitchell to return from their injuries, and will add Cordarrelle Patterson to the mix. This is a high-risk, high-reward receiver position group.

More to follow.