Cooks caught five of eight targets for 87 yards and added a six-yard rush in Monday's 33-13, Week 1 win over Oakland.
Cooks made an immediate impact in his Rams debut, finishing with two fewer yards than Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods combined despite seeing one fewer target than each of those guys. His biggest play was a 30-yard catch-and-run to get down to the eight-yard line, setting up a Kupp touchdown on the next play to close out the third quarter and break a 13-13 tie. While it's still very early, this performance suggests Cooks is well-positioned for a fourth consecutive season over 1,000 receiving yards.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the new contract is worth $80 million and will run through 2023. An extension has long been expected, with the Rams apparently quite confident Cooks will be a better fit than Sammy Watkins in head coach Sean McVay's offensive system. The speedy wideout does have the look of a safe investment, considering he'll turn 25 in September and hasn't missed a game or fallen shy of 1,000 yards since his 2014 rookie season. The possibility of Cooper Kupp or Robert Woods challenging for the team target lead is probably the biggest concern for prospective fantasy owners, though the wealth of weapons will also prevent defenses from overplaying Cooks, who should then be able to take advantage with long gains. He's unlikely to thrive without the help of frequent big plays, as only 11 of his 27 career receiving touchdowns have come on snaps inside the red zone.
Cooks missed an OTA session in late May with a minor groin injury but apparently made a fast recovery. Acquired in an April trade with New England, the 24-year-old wideout still hasn't signed an extension, something that's expected to happen before Week 1. While he should get plenty of deep looks, Cooks' overall target volume could drop off from its range the past three seasons (129, 117, 114) in an offense that also features Todd Gurley, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. Unlike Sammy Watkins last year, Cooks has the benefit of spending a full offseason with his new team.
Cooks did not participate in Tuesday's OTA due to a minor groin issue, Rich Hammond of the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
Given the condition of the injury, it's quite possible the Rams held their offseason acquisition out of Tuesday's session to ensure it doesn't result in a long-term concern. Assuming it remains a minor issue, Cooks should slot into Sammy Watkins' vacated spot as the team deep threat this season. He will work opposite Robert Woods with Cooper Kupp working in the slot, providing quarterback Jared Goff with a trio of capable wideouts to target. Cooks has topped 1,000 yards in each of the last three seasons and should be in a good spot to challenge that number again in 2018.
Los Angeles agreed Tuesday to acquire the wideout and a 2018 fourth-round pick from the Patriots in exchange for first- and sixth-round picks in 2018. It would be an awful lot for the Rams to give up for a one-year rental with an $8.46 million salary, but the deal starts to make sense if Cooks is viewed as part of the club's long-term plan. While the speedy receiver may have been a slight disappointment in New England last season, he's only 24 years old and is coming off three straight 16-game campaigns with at least 1,082 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Cooks profiles as the likely No. 1 receiver in Los Angeles, though the same was said of Sammy Watkins, who ultimately served as a low-volume decoy in his lone season with the Rams. Cooks should see an uptick from Watkins' 2017 total of 70 targets, but his accustomed volume -- 120-target average the past three years -- is far from a sure thing. The Rams also need to feed Todd Gurley, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, their top three pass catchers from last season. Cooks may end up disappointed with how much time he spends clearing out space for his teammates.
|5||10/7/18||@ SEA||4:25 pm|
|6||10/14/18||@ DEN||4:05 pm|
|7||10/21/18||@ SF||8:20 pm|
|9||11/4/18||@ NO||4:25 pm|
|Bye: Week 12|
|13||12/2/18||@ DET||1:00 pm|
|14||12/9/18||@ CHI||1:00 pm|
|16||12/23/18||@ ARI||4:05 pm|
|2014||New Orleans Saints||10||7||53||550||10.4||50||3||4||2||25|
|2015||New Orleans Saints||16||12||84||1138||13.5||71||9||18||5||45|
|2016||New Orleans Saints||16||12||78||1173||15.0||98||8||15||6||45|
|2017||New England Patriots||16||15||65||1082||16.6||64||7||18||7||42|
|2018||Los Angeles Rams||2||2||12||246||20.5||57||0||6||1||10|
|2014||New Orleans Saints||10||7||7||73||10.4||28||1||1||4|
|2015||New Orleans Saints||16||12||8||18||2.3||11||0||0||2|
|2016||New Orleans Saints||16||12||6||30||5.0||11||0||0||1|
|2017||New England Patriots||16||15||9||40||4.4||13||0||0||2|
|2018||Los Angeles Rams||2||2||1||6||6.0||6||0||0||0|
|2014||New Orleans Saints||10||1||12||12.0||12||0||0|
|2015||New Orleans Saints||16||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2016||New Orleans Saints||16||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2017||New England Patriots||16||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2018||Los Angeles Rams||2||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2014||New Orleans Saints||10||10||15||35||3.5||15||0||0|
|2015||New Orleans Saints||16||2||0||12||6.0||6||0||0|
|2016||New Orleans Saints||16||1||0||2||2.0||2||0||0|
|2017||New England Patriots||16||0||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2018||Los Angeles Rams||2||0||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2014||New Orleans Saints||10||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2015||New Orleans Saints||16||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2016||New Orleans Saints||16||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2017||New England Patriots||16||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2018||Los Angeles Rams||2||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2014||New Orleans Saints||10||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2015||New Orleans Saints||16||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2016||New Orleans Saints||16||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2017||New England Patriots||16||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2018||Los Angeles Rams||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|