The Rams intend to sign Cooks to an extension before the start of the 2018 season, a team source told NFL Network's Steve Wyche.
Acquired in a trade Tuesday from the New England Patriots in exchange for the 23rd overall pick in this year's draft among other things, Cooks is set to earn $8.5 million in 2018, the final year of his rookie contract. However, the Rams want to extend him as soon as possible so as to kill two birds: ensure that Jared Goff has a go-to No. 1 receiver for the foreseeable future and help ease their salary-cap situation for 2018.
Los Angeles' four all-or-nothing acquisitions -- Cooks, Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, Ndamukong Suh -- add roughly $35.2 million to its payroll, which puts the Rams over the cap in 2018. (That's including Cooks' $8.5 million number.) Each of those players, besides Talib, is currently off the Rams' books in 2019 when L.A. has a more flexible cap situation, as is All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who is way overdue for an extension as well.