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Les Snead must be walking around the Rams facility doing the Sam Cassell dance. He is in heat check mode and made his most questionable move yet.

He reformed the secondary and rented Ndamukong Suh for a year, now he traded for wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Brandin Cooks is a great replacement for the departed Sammy Watkins. The only issue is what the Rams gave up to get Cooks. Parting with their 23rd overall pick is a bit risky especially considering they gave up their 2nd round pick this year for Watkins (who is now employed by the Kansas City Chiefs).

Sammy Watkins was supposed to be Jared Goff‘s vertical threat. He never quite fit in and the Rams wisely chose not to re-sign him.

There were rumblings that they were looking to trade for Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham was a risky proposition because he wants to be paid $20 million a year next year and the Rams wouldn’t have the money to do that because they have other core pieces to sign. Brandin Cooks is a solid consolation prize. He too is in the last year of his deal so at worst he’s a rental.

Brandin Cooks should fit nicely with Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. The Rams offense will also feature an ever-improving Josh Reynolds and the dual tight end combo of Tyler Higbee and second-year star Gerald Everett. Not to mention Todd Gurley.

Sean McVay should be salivating at all the plays he can run for Cooks. This continues the Rams “all in off-season”. There is the potential the Rams could go full tilt and bust out like Krakow at the Alpha Cup. However, if this works, then Snead will look like a genius.

In a vacuum, this was a good trade. The problem is that the Rams gave away their second-round pick this year for Watkins, as already stated, and their first this year for Cooks. Watkins clearly was a rental and if the Rams don’t win it all they’d have given up a first and a second for two rentals. Los Angeles is slated to have somewhere between $70 million and $90 million in cap space next off-season, but they have a lot of big name¬†players that will need to be signed, Aaron Donald being one of them.

They don’t pick until the 87th pick in round three and they still have a void on defense. They need edge rushers and depth at linebacker. Perhaps they can fill those needs in the later rounds but its risky.

Brandin Cooks had a decent year in New England in 2017. He caught 65 passes for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns. He never quite became a go-to target for Tom Brady and had a key miss in the Super Bowl.

Cooks was a dependable target for Drew Brees in New Orleans but the Saints couldn’t pay him big money and fix their defense.

For now, the Rams got a lot richer and didn’t have to break the bank to do it. Yes, they’ve mortgaged a lot of draft capital in the last three years but if they win a title in 2018 then it won’t matter.

Sports Al Dente 2019

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