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TST Roundtable: Was the Brandin Cooks trade a good deal for the Los Angeles Rams?

The Rams filled their WR1 role vacated by Sammy Watkins by adding one of the NFL’s most productive wideouts in the last three years, but was the cost too high? The TST staff takes a look.

NFL: Super Bowl LII-Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams have not been shy about trades this offseason. On Tuesday, the Rams acquired Brandin Cooks from the New England Patriots and a fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft at the cost of the Rams’ first-round pick, the #23 overall pick, and a sixth-round pick. The deal left the Rams with 0 picks in the first 86 selections of the draft.

Some have reacted to the trade suggesting Rams paid too much for a wide receiver in the final year of his contract. Others were excited just to add a wideout of Cooks’ caliber.

So the Turf Show Times staff weighed in with their thoughts on the blockbuster trade.

3k (@3k_)

I liked the deal for Cooks. The Rams needed a WR1 to replace Sammy Watkins and they got one of the most productive WRs in the NFL in recent years. I was a bit taken back by the disingenuity of some fans who were against re-signing Watkins principally because his production was limited and yet somehow also against trading for Cooks. I get the criticism that the cost was steep especially for someone in a contract year, but Cooks has topped 1,000 years for each of the last three seasons. Getting that kind of production isn’t going to come at an inexpensive cost.

Of course, the real evaluation of the trade, much like the Watkins trade a year ago, will largely hinge upon just how long Cooks is a Ram. If Cooks bolts in free agency in a year with other departures, it will be absolutely appropriate to question the aggression of this move though that also depends on the outcome of the 2018 season which to me is the bigger point. If you’re down to go all-in on a Super Bowl, this is what it looks like. If you want a more measured approach to roster building and the insurance of loading up talent on rookie contracts, I can obviously understand the discomfort with the trade.

Really, I think fans’ reactions on this are just strongly about roster-building philosophy. And me personally? I’m fine with the aggression of recent offseasons.

It beats what preceded it.

Sosa Kremenjas (@SosaKre)

I can see both sides, but ultimately only time will tell. On one hand the Rams traded for an electric play making WR who has a ton of NFL production and is only 24 years old. He’s a really good guy and such a tremendous fit in the offense. On the other hand you gave up a lot - pretty much as much as New England did in 2017 - and the only thing that changed for Cooks was one less year remains on his contract. The Rams just tried this expirement a few months ago and failed. If the front office can sign Cooks to a long term deal for an alright dollar amount, it’s a win. If they let him somehow walk like Sammy Watkins did, it’s terrible.

seattlerams (@seattlerams_nfl)

It’s no so much the player, but the cost of how the Rams are doing business. The GSOT was amazing, but it fizzled out all too quickly because they had a horrible run in the draft during that time and could not sustain it. I want We Not Me to thrive for a decade, not a few years.

2015: No 2nd or 3rd round picks

2016: No 1st rounder

2017: No 1st or 2nd

That’s a lot of quality depth missing over a 3 year window, so they had better get this right. And yes, devil’s advocate can correctly point to all the missed picks under Fisher (GRob, Tavon, Pead, Quick, etc.)

At the end of the day, I trust McVay and do think that Cooks will have an impact for this team, I just hope their lack of quality depth doesn’t come back to haunt them if they suffer key injuries (something that hasn’t hit them for two years.)

go rams

The trade for Cooks STINKS!

RamBuck (@lannyosu)

Cooks will be 24 when the season starts, and has already scored 27 touchdowns over his first four years. He has played with Drew Brees and Tom Brady, and was productive with both. Is he on the fifth year option? Yes. Will he cost a dime to extend after the season? Yes. But the Rams have shown that they are ready to make a run, and I do not disagree with acquiring a player who would only be one or two years older than a draft pick.

BMule (@_BMule)

This move wreaks of desperation. I think Cooks the player makes perfect sense at X for the Rams O but the acquisition cost is stupidly high. This is Sammy Watkins all over except with a 1st round pick. Cooks might and probably will have a solid season but this trade smells.

Elijah Kim (@Football_EZK)

With the Rams losing Sammy Watkins, Les Snead and Sean McVay seemed to have targeted Odell Beckham Jr. first, only to get rebuffed by the Giants standing firm for two first round picks. The Rams then paid a steep price for a receiver with only one year left on his deal, ~Sammy Watkins~ Brandin Cooks. While Cooks had a very productive year for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, the Rams paid a price heavier than the Patriots did the year before...... Given the Rams inability to keep good players and vastly overpaying for the fringe solid players (Alec Ogletree comes to mind), it’s hard to accept this as a “good trade” for now. Without a pick until late in the third round, the Rams still have many holes to feed which will need some creative answers. Trading another premium draft pick not only hurts due to the potential long term talent the team has, but it also gives teams 5 years of financial flexibility..... trading for Cooks doesn’t help the Rams on that front either. Time will tell if Cooks is worth the investment but for now, it’s hard to say this is a great trade for the Rams.

Brandon Bate (@NoPlanB_)

I don’t see any reason not to like the trade. Quite simply, there are no guarantees with draft picks, and Sean McVay was just provided a versatile weapon he can move all around his offense. Until it _a)_ clearly isn’t working (and I don’t see why it wouldn’t -- he’s a plug and play player), or _b)_ becomes a one year rental situation, I won’t question the moves this regime is making in an effort to get well beyond the first round of the playoffs.

Sean Wilkinson (@Papa_Lurch)

I’m torn on this trade. On one hand the Rams acquired a top-flight deep threat that will instantly fill the void left by Sammy Watkins leaving. On the other hand, I really don’t like the Rams giving up #23 in the trade.

If the Rams can find a way to retain Cooks long term, I love this trade. He’s still under 24 years old and could be a valuable asset in Sean McVay’s offense for 5+ years. If Cooks walks after the 2018 season, this trade is a disaster and we’ll have to start asking some really tough questions about the Rams ability to retain their own talent.