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Rams' Brandin Cooks signs five-year, $81M extension

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After acquiring Brandin Cooks in a trade with the New England Patriots in April, the Los Angeles Rams planned to extend the receiver's contract before training camp. They accomplished that goal Tuesday.

The team announced it signed Cooks to a five-year extension that runs through the 2023 season. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the deal is worth $81 million, per a source informed of the situation. That includes $20.5 million fully guaranteed at signing and $50.5 million in total guarantees, Rapoport added.

"Brandin Cooks has shown himself to be a class act on and off the field since the first day he joined our team," Rams coach Sean McVay said in a statement. "He's a proven professional in this league and signing him to a long-term contract was always our goal. We're excited to keep Brandin in a Rams uniform through 2023."

Cooks was entering the final year of his rookie contract slated to make $8.459 million in 2018. Terms of the extension were not disclosed.

In April, the Rams traded their 2018 first-round pick (No. 23 overall -- OL Isaiah Wynn) and a sixth-round selection (No. 198 overall -- traded by NE) to the New England Patriots for Cooks and a fourth-round pick (No. 136 overall -- traded by L.A.).

For his career, Cooks has compiled 280 receptions, 3,943 receiving yards and 27 receiving touchdowns. In 2017 with the Patriots, the wideout went for 65 receptions, 1,082 receiving yards and seven receiving TDs. Cooks is one of five NFL players with an active streak of at least three consecutive seasons with 1,000-plus receiving yards -- Antonio Brown (5), Mike Evans (4), Julio Jones (4), Larry Fitzgerald (3) -- per NFL Research.

Cooks provides a deep threat for the Rams' multifaceted offense after the team let Sammy Watkins walk in free agency. The Rams hope Cooks' ability to take the top off defenses can put pressure on opponents. Combining Cooks' skill set with Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp provides quarterback Jared Goff a wide receiver trio that can win at all levels.

Since acquiring Cooks, the Rams' coaching staff has been giddy about the wideout's potential in the creative McVay's system. The coach could barely contain himself during offseason workouts after seeing Cooks' speed up close.

For Cooks, a former first-round pick of the New Orleans Saints, the extension represents a long-awaited reward. The Patriots reportedly didn't view the 5-foot-10 speedster as a true No. 1 target. The Rams' coaching staff clearly has a different view.

Getting Cooks' deal done now allows the L.A. front office to refocus on the bevy of players they need to lock up in the near future -- including Goff and Todd Gurley. Next, however, they should turn their attention to finally paying Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald.

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