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Patriots trade Brandin Cooks to LA Rams; Sign OL Luke Bowanko and TE Troy Niklas

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots announced today that they have acquired a 2018 first-round draft pick (23rd overall) and a 2018 sixth-round pick (198th overall) in exchange for WR Brandin Cooks and a 2018 fourth-round draft pick (136th overall). 

In addition, the Patriots signed OL Luke Bowanko as an unrestricted free agent from the Baltimore Ravens and TE Troy Niklas as an unrestricted free agent from the Arizona Cardinals. Terms of the contracts were not announced. 

The Patriots have made two first-round draft selections 11 times in team history and twice in the Bill Belichick era (2004 and 2012). New England currently holds the 23rd and 31st selections in the first round. In total, the Patriots hold four picks in the first two rounds, that includes two second-round picks (43rd and 63rd overall). If the Patriots use those picks, it will be the fourth time in team history that the team has had at least two first-round picks and two second-round picks (1977, 1982 and 1998). 

Cooks, 24, was acquired by New England from the New Orleans Saints along with a 2017 fourth-round pick (118th overall) in exchange for a 2017 first-round pick (32nd overall) and a 2017 third-round pick (103rd overall) on March 11, 2017. The 5-10, 189-pounder played in all 16 regular-season games with 15 starts for the Patriots and finished with 65 receptions for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns. He started all three postseason games and accumulated 10 receptions for 155 yards. In four NFL seasons, Cooks has played in 58 games with 46 starts and has 280 receptions for 3,943 yards with 27 touchdowns. 

Bowanko, 26, is a veteran of four NFL seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2014-16) and the Baltimore Ravens (2017). The 6-foot-6, 300-pounder originally entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft pick (205th overall) of Jacksonville in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Virginia. He was traded from Jacksonville to Baltimore on Sept. 2, 2017, in exchange for a 2019 seventh-round draft choice. Bowanko has played in 40 NFL games with 15 starts during his NFL career, including 14 starts at center as a rookie in 2014 with the Jaguars. Last season with Baltimore, Bowanko played in 16 games with one start at left guard. 

Niklas, 25, is a veteran of four NFL seasons with the Arizona Cardinals after originally joining the team as a second-round draft pick (52nd overall) in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame. The 6-foot-6, 270-pounder has played in 41 NFL games with 18 starts and has accumulated 19 receptions for 203 yards and three touchdowns. He has also played in two postseason games with Arizona in 2015. Last season, Niklas played in 15 games with 11 starts and finished with 11 receptions for 132 yards and one touchdown. 

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