The Rams tried to trade for wide receiver Brandin Cooks long before yesterday.
And General Manager Les Snead was willing to give up his franchise-tagged player to do it.
Snead told Peter King of SI.com that he had discussions with the Saints a year ago about trading for Cooks, but didn’t have the ammunition to get the deal done.
The Saints were looking for a first-round pick for Cooks. The Patriots had one. The Rams didn’t, as a result of the Jared Goff trade. So Snead offered the Saints cornerback Trumaine Johnson, who the Rams had franchised two years in a row. As much as the Saints needed cornerback help at the time of the deal (before drafting a potential star in Marshon Lattimore), they chose the Patriots offer instead.
“At that time, we didn’t have a first-round pick and New England did, and that made all the difference,” Snead said. “We discussed [cornerback] Trumaine Johnson with New Orleans, but we could not trump New England’s one.”
The Rams sent the 23rd overall pick and a sixth-rounder to New England for Cooks this year, and got a fourth-rounder in return. Johnson walked away in free agency this offseason, signing with the Jets.
Of course, Cooks is an expensive rental at the moment, but the fact they’ve been working on acquiring him for more than a year suggests they’re more amenable to extending him now.