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TST Weekly Slack Chat: Ndamukong Suh and Brandin Cooks additions have the Los Angeles Rams all in for 2018

The Rams have loaded up for this season. 3k, Sosa Kremenjas and Brandon Bate look at the last week of activity.

New England Patriots WR Brandin Cooks kneels prior to a game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 8 of the 2017 season
New England Patriots WR Brandin Cooks kneels prior to a game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 8 of the 2017 season
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to TST Slack Chats, dear reader.

This week, BMule had to bow out so we tapped in substitute Slack chatter Brandon Bate. And did we have a ton to cover...The signing of DL Ndamukong Suh. Trading for New England Patriots WR Brandin Cooks. Jam.

Aquip Talip (TST contributor Sosa Kremenjas): Welcome back to another episode of Slack Chat! We’ve got a jam packed episode today

Joe McAtee (TST contributor 3k): It is packed with jam?

Bate (TST contributor Brandon Bate): Hello, my name is Brandon and I’m an alco...

Joe McAtee: And why are things jam packed and not jelly packed

Bate: has anyone ever even figured out why jam is so much easier to spread than jelly?

I think we’re already off course here. Didn’t take long.

Joe McAtee: Which means we’re definitely on course

Aquip Talip: you guys give me a headache

Let’s hop right into it with question one:

The Brandin Cooks trade. How do you feel about it? Was it worth it? What’s his value in the offense?

Joe McAtee: Well we just dropped the roundtable on the site.

My take was a little long for Slack purposes, but I liked the deal. I like it a lot a lot if we can sign him beyond 2018

Aquip Talip: You aren’t perplexed at all by the price?

Joe McAtee: Me personally, no

Aquip Talip: How did the Rams actually end up paying more than New England did the year before? Seems expensive

Joe McAtee: He’s been one of the most productive WRs in the NFL and he’s produced at this level without any off-field concerns. Those guys are costly!

Aquip Talip: I don’t think it’s so much that, I think it boils down to the other options at the end of the day

The opportunity cost of simply signing guys like Sammy Watkins or Allen Robinson would have been a lot cheaper than the Cooks trade/signing

But I can understand it to. He’s a great fit, young, consistent, productive, and a character that you want on your team

Joe McAtee: Which of course begs the obvious answer as to why. The Rams must like Cooks more than Watkins or Robinson

Aquip Talip: Presumably. But how much is the real question

A first round pick is a massive gap to fill between players who are all veeeeery similar in talent if not identical

Joe McAtee: I guess enough to ship off #23!

Bate: Here’s how I look at it: You either don’t like this trade because he’s not Odell Beckham, Jr. or because it somehow offends Aaron Donald. But you certainly don’t dislike it because of what Cooks has done on the field.

And, considering we’ve heard (Wyche, I believe it was) state that the Rams intentions are to sign him to a long-term deal (where have we heard that before) one has to wonder if he might be a candidate for restructure prior to heading into 2018

I’m not concerned about pick 23. As I’ve said before, I’ve seen the Rams botch pick 2 on numerous occasions. No guarantees there.

The Rams know what they’re getting in 2018. A plug-and-play WR with a proven track record.

Aquip Talip: Very true. I look at it in a different way

I thought Watkins/ARob are absolutely as talented (if not more). The simple fact that they could have had either (as well as a pick worth gold in this league) is a bit interesting

Bate: I guess another reason I’m so surprised that people are quick to doubt is based on what we saw last season. Everyone shat on the Robert Woods signing because he’d never eclipsed 700 yards. How’d that go in his first season in McVay’s offense?

I’m not even sure people care what the price tag is when the team is winning. I certainly don’t reflect on it when we’re resting our starters in Week 17.

Joe McAtee: true

Aquip Talip: Very true

Bate: But I think it’s fair to expect somewhere in the ballpark of what he’s been averaging. At least that’s what I think fans will expect: something like 75/1,100/8

Aquip Talip: I think he’s going to be very productive regardless, but when you compare whatever Cooks does this year to whatever Watkins/ARob/others do, it’s alllllways going to be a comparison of “why did they pay that much when they could have had ________?”

Bate: And I cannot think of a single reason that’s unachievable. Pretty darn good for $8.5M

Aquip Talip: But I guess generally it’s all moot if: 1) they sign Cooks long term, 2) he balls, 3) we win, a lot

Joe McAtee: We should totally do 3

That’s my strategy

If we win a lot, I think we’ll win a lot of games

Bate: I like option 3, as well. sign me up

Aquip Talip: I mean for crying out loud the guy is 3 months YOUNGER than Cooper Kupp

and has 4,000 NFL yards

Bate: I’m not sure when they flipped the switch, but I’ve been impressed with how the Rams have handled contractual stuff recently -- offloading some contracts, but still gaining serious talent (and gaining comp picks all the while). I tend to leave the cap space stuff to the team, because I certainly can’t predict who’s getting chopped next, or who’s going to get an extension. But it’s going to happen.

Joe McAtee: The bigger issue/worry/concern/whatever for me isn’t the trade or the cost. It’s simply expectations. They’re so so so so so so so high all over. Especially given all the new additions this offseason

(That’s called a segue)

Aquip Talip: Excellent

Onto question #2:

Aquip Talip: Which of the 4 major additions (Suh, Peters, Talib, Cooks) will turn out to be the most important in 2018? (edited)

I tend to lean Suh, but I think you can make a fair case for everyone.

Bate: I promptly voted for Peters, and I’ll keep him as my pick, but I can see a case for Suh, as well.

Joe McAtee: It’s so tough

Aquip Talip: I think Suh is going to help our porous run defense from last season. Also, he and AD together will absolutely wreak havoc

Kind of like the legend from Mobb Deep!

Joe McAtee: Put it like this. Playoffs. Wild card round in LA again. Which one is the most important in that game?

I honestly don’t know

Aquip Talip: I think Suh and AD help each other (Brockers too) as much as any two players in the league. That’s going to be a horrifying trio to rotate on the DL there

Bate: The role of a CB1 is huge. And Marcus Peters is going to have his hands full this season with guys like Keenan Allen, Sammy Watkins, Allen Robinson, Michael Thomas, Demaryius Thomas, Alshon Jeffery...I’m sure I’m missing a few. I certainly think he’s up to the task though.

Joe McAtee: Yeah his matchups are not easy

Bate: My case for Suh is this: the Rams stunk at stopping the run in 2017. And conveniently, Suh is very good at it.

Aquip Talip: Exactly

Bate: Think I saw a PFF tweet earlier today that said he was the 2nd best interior defender against the run last season. That’s huge for the Rams, especially with a question mark remaining at ILB

Joe McAtee: He’s well-Suhted for this defense

Bate: niiiiiice

Joe McAtee: I can’t help myself (edited)

Bate: I will say this though. The front 3 are going to make life on everyone behind them that much easier. Having to stop Brockers-Suh-Donald is almost not fair. I expect some INT’s (edited)

Aquip Talip: He’s so frickin’ good

Joe McAtee: This entire roster is very, very, very good

Which again...expectations

Aquip Talip: We saw the value of Michael Brockers in the Wild Card game when he went down

Now imagine him on steroids, but also Brockers next to himself on steroids

Joe McAtee: So many steroids...

Bate: I’m told that Michael Brockers could be a cap casualty! Can ya believe that?

or maybe it was that he’s a candidate for trade. I don’t know. Either way, I still think most people don’t even know who Michael Brockers is. And I’m ok with that.

Aquip Talip: A four man rotation of AD/Suh/Brockers/Easley consists of FOUR first-round picks at DT

That is truly insane

Joe McAtee: It makes the calculus of the draft and the depth we’re going to pull from it kinda weird

Like last year, our first few picks had playing time in front of them

Joe McAtee: Are any rookies gonna get any snaps this year?

Aquip Talip: If they can squeeze an OL in maybe

Bate: at pick 87? yeesh

Joe McAtee: #yeesh

Bate: segue

Aquip Talip: Onto question 3 ya filthy animals:

Does the trade for Cooks change the Rams’ draft plans? Will they package some picks to move up to the 2nd round or for another 3rd round pick?

I tend to lean “no”. They probably didn’t like the choices at WR

Joe McAtee: I dunno that they can get into the 2nd without some 2019 capital

Bate: If you take away “free agency” and “draft” labels in May and just look at what the Rams have accomplished, I’m not sure how you can be mad about it.

but people will be mad about it

Joe McAtee: People will always be mad about all the its

Aquip Talip: As for the trade, I’m not sure it’s possible. Y’all don’t think they could package like two 4th’s and two or three 6’s to get a 3rd? Or maybe use the 3rd and some combo to move up to the 2nd?

Joe McAtee: A third, sure

A second might be a bit too far

Bate: I did some draft trade value chart research, which I know isn’t science, but taking trading 87 with two 4th round picks would get us up near the top of the 3rd. (edited)

Aquip Talip: if they can walk out with two 3rd’s that would be unreal

Joe McAtee: Yeah that I could see

But do they even need to?

Aquip Talip: Maybe not

They don’t really need many (if any at all ) starters

Joe McAtee: Yeah

Aquip Talip: I think this draft needs to be a “draft and groom” to start in the future type draft, you know?

I think they could still stand to use upgrades at RG and OLB though

Bate: When Les Snead gets his PFF draft guide, we’ll have a better idea of which no-named guys from little schools have amazing grades. It’s at that point we’ll know if they’ll still be available.

Joe McAtee: Shout out to Dane Brugler

That draft guide is (Italian chef kiss)

Aquip Talip: One of my favorite draft guys no doubt

He’s an OG

Bate: Dane Brugler’s draft guide is fantastic. He should charge way more than $10

but Les likes analytics. Sorry Dane

Joe McAtee: Day 3 is gonna be so fun

Bate: well yeah, it’s the only day

a couple of trade downs and the Rams own the entirety of the 6th round

Joe McAtee: Give me all your Sam Rogerses

Aquip Talip: Hahaha

Onto our final Q for the day boys:

Would you rather win a Super Bowl and be trash for 9 years, or consistently in the playoffs with some deep runs for a decade but no rings?

I had a twitter poll posted about this yesterday. SB is winning in a landslide

Joe McAtee: Good idea by you to post that poll last night

You have a lot of good ideas, you know

Aquip Talip: It made me feel like a doucher. Because I lean #2.

Bate: Yeah, gimme the hardware

Joe McAtee: I think Sos and I were in the minority

I was surprised at how heavily people leaned into the first of the two options. I really thought it’d be closer to 50/50

Aquip Talip: I can’t stand to watch many 1/2/3 win seasons anymore

Bate: I’m not sure we’ll ever be knocking back cold ones and go, “man, do you remember the good ol days when we used to make it deep into the playoffs only to be crushed by another loss.”

Joe McAtee: I mean...we were doing that for about 8 years

Bate: Imagine how great the draft would be if the Rams sucked for 8 years.

Joe McAtee: We lived it

Bate: Actually you don’t need to imagine that. It happened

Joe McAtee: Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup

Joe McAtee: Winning is ruining this year’s draft. It’s horrible

Mock drafts are dying

I have nothing

Joe McAtee: Maybe I’m too scarred by those years

I don’t want another decade outside of the playoffs

Aquip Talip: I am too Joe

I guess I look at it like this

Joe McAtee: (please drop a verse by Mobb Deep)

Aquip Talip: I’d rather have fun for 17-18 Sundays per year for 10 years, as opposed to 19 fun Sundays one year and like 100+ miserable Sunday’s for 9 years

- Havoc, probably

Bate: I’d rather have a Super Bowl ring


Aquip Talip: Very fair

But isn’t it weird how quickly people get over the ring and it’s right back to regular?

I bet Denver Broncos fans don’t feel so great right now even though they got a ring within the past 5 years

Which is so weird to think

Bate: Go ask the fans of 13 NFL franchises who’ve never won a Super Bowl and see what they think

Joe McAtee: The good thing though is that it’s a complete hypothetical. We’re obviously in position to compete for a Super Bowl this year and it’s pretty impossible to look at the medium-term future and not think we’re going to be competitive beyond 2018

I mean...we do have Sam Rogers

Aquip Talip: Very true Joe

It’s only a hypothetical

I mean, we could win a ring and go on to be relevant for 10 years regardless

That’s the dream, right? (Outside of multiple rings)

Joe McAtee: I think the dream for B is Tavon Austin, Super Bowl MVP

In the right uniforms

Aquip Talip: That has a horrible ring to it

Bate: I’m getting choked up just thinking about it

in those beautiful white and blues, with St. Louis gold accents

Thanks for tuning in as always. What do you think about the Cooks trade? Who’s your pick for the most important addition this offseason? What of the draft now that we’re out of it until #87? And what of the two scenarios laid out by Sosa would you prefer over the next decade?

Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.