According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the New England Patriots have traded wide receiver Brandin Cooks along with a fourth-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams for the 23rd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Live and breathe the NFL?

🚨 Get viral NFL graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

The Rams reportedly discussed the possibility of acquiring Cooks from the Patriots prior to the conversation around their significant interest in New York Giants All-Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The front office had been waiting for a response from the Giants, but the team ultimately deemed this route the better option for the 2018 season. In essence, this now effectively puts the Rams out of the running to land Beckham Jr.

This marks the second trade in as many years for Cooks, having been previously traded to the Patriots last offseason after spending his first three campaigns with the New Orleans Saints. In his lone campaign in New England, he hauled in 65 catches for 1,082 receiving yard, and seven touchdowns, which marked his third straight 1,000 receiving yard campaign with at least seven touchdown receptions. This includes posting a pair of 100-yard receiving performances, highlighted by a season-high 149 yards receiving yards against the Oakland Raiders.

The 24-year-old could step right into the Rams' passing game as a legitimate threat to stretch the field with his speed and big-play ability, along with being one of the top receiving options for Pro Bowl quarterback Jared Goff. What should be noted is that Cooks is entering the fifth-year option of his rookie deal that will pay him $8.5 million for next season, which could be something that the Rams either address prior to the 2018 season, or let ride until next March.

Meanwhile, this move signals that the Patriots are keeping ahold of All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski despite the trade rumors and uncertainty surrounding his NFL future. The Rams had been mentioned as a possible landing spot for his service, while a couple of teams were expected to pursue him this offseason.

This could also mean that the Patriots could use either the 23rd or 31st overall picks in this year's draft to find Tom Brady's eventual successor. The team could also package these two picks to move up even further in the first round to take one of the top available quarterbacks. It has been widely anticipated that the team is going to take a quarterback with one of their early-round draft selections.