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By sending their first-rounder to the Patriots for Brandin Cooks, the Rams added a high-end wide receiver and another big-ticket item on their to-do list.

And it appears they may be ready to do something about this one.

According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, the Rams “have already expressed interest” in extending Cooks’ contract. He’s currently working on the option year of his rookie deal, and will make $8.5 million this season.

The Rams have apparently been thinking about this one for some time, as the Rams were interested in trading for Cooks before the Saints sent him to New England a year ago, according to Josh Katzenstein of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

But to commit to Cooks now requires Cooks to want to be committed to, at a time when free agents who have done far less than he has (cough, Sammy Watkins, cough) are able to get $16 million-a-year deals. He might prefer to hit the open market a year from now and choose his own destination for a change after being traded two offseasons in a row.

The Rams are operating from a sense of urgency, since defensive tackles Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh are also entering contract years, and traded-for corners Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib are under contractual control for two more. They have cap flexibility now (since they’re paying a quarterback practically nothing the next two years), but they’re facing plenty of big decisions in the future.

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