NFL Notes: Rams acquire WR Cooks from Patriots

The Sports Xchange

April 03, 2018 at 7:16 pm.

Jan 13, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks (14) runs the ball against Tennessee Titans cornerback Adoree' Jackson (25) during the second quarter in the AFC Divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium. Photo Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 13, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks (14) runs the ball against Tennessee Titans cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (25) during the second quarter in the AFC Divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium. Photo Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams have made another major move, acquiring wide receiver Brandin Cooks in a trade with the New England Patriots, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Tuesday.

The Rams will get Cooks and a fourth-round draft pick from the Patriots, while New England will receive the 23rd overall pick in the first round of this year’s draft as well as a sixth-round draft pick from the Rams.

Acquiring Cooks probably means the Rams have given up on attempts to obtain Odell Beckham Jr. from the New York Giants. The New York Post reported the Rams had been the front-runners for Beckham before this trade.

New England had acquired Cooks from the New Orleans Saints in a March 2017 trade that sent the Patriots’ first-round pick (No. 32 overall) to the Saints.

Cooks had 65 catches for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns in his only season with New England. He added 10 catches for 155 yards in the Patriots’ three postseason games.

Cooks had one catch in the Super Bowl LII loss to the Philadelphia Eagles before he left the game with a concussion.

–The Washington Redskins have re-signed defensive lineman Phil Taylor Sr., the team announced.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed, but the Washington Post reported it is a one-year deal.

Injuries have plagued Taylor’s career. He was scheduled to be a starter for the Redskins last season before he suffered a torn left quadriceps in a preseason game that required surgery and ended his season.

The 337-pound Taylor, who turns 30 on Saturday, has not played in a regular-season NFL game since 2014, when he was with the Cleveland Browns.

–Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson was among team members who began offseason workouts after he had been cleared to participate in all activities, NFL Network’s Omar Ruiz reported.

Johnson, 26, left the 2017 season opener with a broken wrist that required surgery. There were reports that Johnson might return late in the 2017 season, but it did not happen.

Johnson was a first-team All-Pro as a rookie in 2016, when he rushed for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns and also caught 80 passes for 879 yards and four scores while starting all 16 regular-season games.

–Tennessee Titans guard Quinton Spain signed his one-year tender as a restricted free agent, the team announced.

Spain started 14 games and both postseason contests at left guard for the Titans in 2017, and he started 13 games in 2016.

–Guard Earl Watford signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears, the team announced.

Watford will earn $550,000 guaranteed, and he can make as much as $2 million with incentives, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.

The Bears also announced they signed running back Benny Cunningham and long snapper Patrick Scales to one-year deals.

The 27-year-old Watford is expected to battle Eric Kush and Jordan Morgan for playing time with the Bears.

–Center Travis Swanson will sign a contract with the New York Jets, multiple media outlets reported.

The move would effectively complete a swap of centers involving the Jets and Detroit Lions, who signed unrestricted free-agent Wesley Johnson on Thursday.

Swanson likely will be a reserve with the Jets, who already signed former Washington Redskins center Spencer Long last month.

–Linebacker Paul Worrilow agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, the team announced.

Worrilow is expected to provide depth to Philadelphia’s defense and special teams.

–Prosecutors in Florida will not pursue felony charges against New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson, multiple media outlets reported.

Anderson is not out of the woods as he still faces one misdemeanor count of reckless driving stemming from his Jan. 19 arrest in Sunrise, Fla., the Broward County State Attorney’s Office confirmed to

The 24-year-old Anderson was arrested on suspicion of multiple charges after he allegedly failed to yield during a traffic stop.

–The Atlanta Falcons are closing in on a deal to lock up former NFL MVP Matt Ryan.

“I think we’re close,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff told 680 The Fan in Atlanta on Tuesday.

Dimitroff added that “it’s not a complicated process” in regard to Ryan, who is due to make $19.25 million as he enters the last season of a five-year $103.75 million contract extension, per Spotrac. With a cap number of $21.65 million, Ryan’s franchise tender in 2019 would be $25.98 million before jumping to $31.176 million the following year.

–USC quarterback Sam Darnold will work out for the Denver Broncos later this week, Albert Breer of reported.

Darnold is expected to visit the Broncos on Friday, per the report. Denver holds the fifth overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, which will be held on April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Darnold is viewed as the top overall prospect in the draft by senior analyst Rob Rang in his most Big Board.

–Although several questions cloud his playing future, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski answered the call of one fan who is awaiting multiple organ transplants.

Gronkowski joined his brother Gordie in making a special hospital visit to Chicopee (Mass.) native Lauren Meizo at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston on Monday.

“It was incredible. He was so down to earth!” Meizo told the Boston Herald after her 45-minute visit with the five-time Pro Bowl selection. “My nerves were gone once we started talking. It was a dream come true.”

Meizo, who wished for Gronkowski to pay a visit in a YouTube video that she made March 25, is awaiting her turn to receive a new heart. Her first transplant in 2013 was unsuccessful and now she also needs a new kidney.

–The Arizona Cardinals signed running back Elijhaa Penny, defensive lineman Olsen Pierre, cornerback C.J. Goodwin and offensive lineman John Wetzel to one-year contracts, the team announced.

The four players are exclusive rights free agents for the Cardinals.

Penny had 31 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns to go along with four catches for 38 yards in 16 games last season.

Pierre, 26, recorded 32 tackles and one forced fumble in 14 games last season. His 5.5 sacks in 2017 were the second-most on the team.

–Brice Butler is looking to make the most of his new opportunity with the Arizona Cardinals.

The Cardinals signed the free-agent wide receiver to a two-year contract, the team announced.

Butler spent the past three seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Butler made his mark in a game in 2017 against Arizona, recording two catches for 90 yards and a touchdown.

The Cardinals boast Larry Fitzgerald and little else at wide receiver.

–Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson isn’t quite ready to return to the football field, but he is set to make an appearance on the basketball court.

Watson will take the Houston Rockets’ “First Shot” for charity before Tuesday’s game against the Washington Wizards at Toyota Center.

Should Watson sink the free throw, the Rockets will donate $5,000 to charity. If the 22-year-old misfires on his attempt, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta will donate $1,000 instead.

–With Peyton Manning declining FOX’s offer to be the lead analyst for its Thursday Night Football games, the network is turning its attention to its No. 1 team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, the New York Post reported.

Negotiations are just beginning, but FOX will be asking Buck and Aikman to work Thursday games in addition to their Sunday games. Aikman and Buck do not want to split up, per the Post.

–Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long is recovering from three surgeries and has not been cleared for full participation, but he expects to be ready for the 2018 regular season.

Long had ankle surgery after the 2016 season causing him to miss time at the beginning of last season. He then ended the 2017 season on injured reserve. Long had neck surgery in December, then had operations on his shoulder and elbow later.