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Date Oct. 9th 04:58 AM Icon 39 Date 0

 

Brandin Cooks has been traded twice in the past 13 months despite being one of the NFL’s most productive receivers over the past three years [url=www.ravenscheapstores.com]Sam Koch Jersey[/url] , so the Rams’ new top target knows he probably shouldn’t get completely comfortable in Los Angeles.

He’s still grateful to be joining another talented team with a shot at another Super Bowl – and perhaps he can still find a long-term future at home in California, too.

”It would be an extreme blessing to be here for a long haul, coming in here to be with a special group of guys,” Cooks said Thursday at the Rams’ training complex. ”At the end of the day, it’s not something I’m pressing. I just want to come in here and be the best that I can be.”

Los Angeles coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead praised Cooks’ character and talent when they formally welcomed him to the defending NFC West champions, who had the NFL’s highest-scoring offense last year.

They’ve been interested in acquiring Cooks since before his first trade from New Orleans to New England last March. After Cooks posted another 1,000-yard season and reached the Super Bowl with New England, the Rams finally got him Monday.

”I’m hard-pressed to remember a player that’s got so many positive things said about him from different people he’s been exposed to,” McVay said. ”You’re talking about a special person and a special player. Clearly he’s going to be a big part of our offense, being able to play our `X’ receiver (position) and do a variety of things.”

Cooks’ ability as a deep threat makes him a strong replacement for Sammy Watkins, who was acquired by the Rams last season after they failed to get Cooks. Watkins parlayed his single season in McVay’s high-powered passing game into a lavish free-agent deal with Kansas City.

Cooks also can be a free agent next year, but the Rams were willing to take the risk because they’re determined to build a Super Bowl contender with the payroll space available while Jared Goff is still in his rookie contract.

”Simply put [url=www.titansauthorizedshops.com]Derrick Henry Jersey Big[/url] , 2018 is important,” Snead said. ”We definitely want to repeat as NFC (West) champions, but … a lot of the players we’ve acquired are young and have evolved to be in the prime of their careers, and we would love to take advantage of that over not just `18, but `19, `20, `21 and moving forward.”

The Rams’ trades for Watkins and Cooks have left them without a pick in the first two rounds of the upcoming draft, but Snead doesn’t sound terribly worried about the potential loss of organizational depth.

The Rams would rather have Cooks, who has already put together three seasons that were more productive than anything Watkins has done in the same four-year stretch. Cooks also is still three months younger than Cooper Kupp, who just finished an impressive rookie season for the Rams.

Cooks’ 1,082 yards receiving with the Patriots last season were 11th-most in the NFL. He was seventh in the league with 1,173 yards in 2016 during his final season with New Orleans [url=www.packerscheapstore.com]Josh Jones Jersey[/url] , and he is one of just three active players with 1,000 yards and at least five touchdowns in each of the past three seasons.

Cooks had the benefit of catching passes from Drew Brees and Tom Brady. He already seems confident in Goff’s ability to provide him with similar service.

Cooks did have to playfully bat down one rumor that had already excited Rams fans: Although he has met Goff several times, and although they share the same agent, they haven’t already had throwing sessions before the trade.

There’s plenty of time for that now.

”I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to be able to grow with a young guy,” Cooks said. ”I’m young myself, so to be able to start that rapport this offseason is going to be extremely huge. I look forward to getting to work right away.”



The offense that Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez has been waiting for showed up just in time to prevent a sweep at the hands of a division rival Sunday night.

Daniel Murphy’s single drove in the tying and go-ahead runs in the eighth inning and the Nationals rallied past the Philadelphia Phillies 8-6 to salvage the finale of the three-game series.

Anthony Rendon homered and doubled, Bryce Harper tied a career high with three doubles and Michael A. Taylor and Murphy each had three singles as Washington pounded out 17 hits in a game that was delayed 38 minutes by rain in the bottom of the fourth inning.

”We weren’t scoring very many runs,” Martinez said, ”and for us to come out and compete like we did today and put up eight runs . and just really work very good at-bats, I felt really good for the boys and I know they’ll feed off it.”

Rhys Hoskins and Nick Williams homered for the Phillies, who had won three straight.

Pinch hitter Brian Goodwin led off the eighth with a walk. With one out, right-hander Seranthony Dominguez (1-2) came on to face Harper [url=www.officialislanders.com]Youth Chris Wagner Jersey[/url] , who doubled to right, with Goodwin stopping at third.

After Rendon grounded out, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler elected to walk rookie Juan Soto and pitch to the veteran Murphy, who began the day hitting .135.

”You pick your poison right there,” Kapler said. ”You have two very good hitters. The first one in Soto has been elite. And Murphy has struggled a little bit. And we went after the guy that was struggling and coming off injury.”

After throwing three 98-mph plus fastballs to get ahead 1-2, Dominguez tried a slider that Murphy lined to shallow right. Taylor’s single made it 8-6.

”I was watching some film on him and he had kind of gone with the slider as a kill shot to a couple lefties, so once I got two strikes I was aware of it,” Murphy said. ”I hadn’t seen it yet, so that’s never any fun, but fortunately I was able to get it in the air enough and kind of scoop it over Cesar (Hernandez’s) head at second base.”

Ryan Madson (2-3) pitched the eighth inning, and Sean Doolittle finished for his 21st save.

The Phillies took a 6-2 lead in the fifth on a two-run triple by Odubel Herrera and a two-run homer by Williams, but the bullpen surrendered six runs.

Washington pulled within a run at 6-5 in the sixth with four two-out hits [url=www.officialblues.com]Colton Parayko Jersey[/url] , including an RBI triple by Trea Turner and RBI doubles by Harper and Rendon.

RENDERFUL

Rendon has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games is batting .447 (17-for-38) in that span with three homers, seven RBIs and nine runs scored.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Phillies: C Andrew Knapp left in the seventh with a right knee contusion. … 3B Maikel Franco slipped on first base and fell hard in the eighth. He stayed in to run but left after the half-inning with lower back tightness. … INF Jesmuel Valent锟絥 was placed on the paternity leave list and OF Dylan Cozens (left quadriceps strain) was reinstated from the 10-day DL.

Nationals: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (right hamstring strain) allowed 11 runs in 4 2/3 innings of a rehab start at Class A Potomac on Sunday. ”I’m more concerned with the way he feels,” manager Dave Martinez said, downplaying the results. ”We’ll go from there.” … RH reliever Brandon Kintzler (right forearm flexor strain) threw a scoreless inning at Potomac. … RHP Stephen Strasburg (right shoulder inflammation) played catch on the field again. ”We’ll keep doing his throwing progression and figure out when he can actually throw from the mound,” Martinez said.

UP NEXT

Phillies: RHP Vince Velasquez (5-7, 4.82) starts the opener of a series against the Yankees on Monday. He is 0-0 with a 3.24 ERA in two games vs. New York.

Nationals: RHP Gio Gonzalez (6-4, 3.08) opens a series at Tampa Bay on Monday. He is 2-2 with a 5.54 ERA in six games against the Rays.



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