3 ideal NFL free agency landing spots for tight end Jared Cook
Jared Cook played the 2018 NFL season with the Oakland Raiders, but is hitting free agency this offseason. Cook had a career season in 2018, but the obvious rebuild the team is going through leaves a lot of doubt for Cook’s future with the team.
Cook is entering his 10th season in the league, but had career highs in 2018 with 68 receptions, 896 yards, and six touchdowns. The lack of any reliable weapons in the passing game benefitted Cook’s production, but the fact that Cook was the only option for Derek Carr explains his success.
It’s certainly an option that the Raiders make a play to retain Cook, but with their current rebuild it’s possible they’re going for a completely fresh start heading into the 2019 season.
There will likely be several teams making offers to Cook once the free agent markets open up, but some teams are in need of a proven tight end more than others.
Here are three teams that would be ideal free agency landing spots for Cook.
The Lions have had terrible luck in finding a reliable tight end in recent years. Watching Eric Ebron have a career season with the Indianapolis Colts has to hurt big time.
Ebron cost the Lions a top 10 pick back in 2014, but never lived up to expectations in the Motor City. Unfortunately, the last time a tight end had a successful game with the team might date back to when Joseph Fauria caught three touchdowns in one game back in 2013. Even Lions general manager Bob Quinn stated the position is a number one priority heading into the offseason.
Cook can offer a reliable option for quarterback Matthew Stafford and become a nice complement to wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. Cook remains a top tight end in the league and he’s about as safe of option a team can hope to acquire in hopes of finding reliability at the position.
The Texans are having difficulties finding a viable receiving option to complement wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, as well as providing quarterback Deshaun Watson with a consistent tight end. Wide receiver Keke Coutee has solid potential, but injuries plagued his rookie season. The Texans were able to trade for veteran wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, but he didn’t make much of an impact with the team during his short stint.
Cook is a fantastic veteran presence that Watson could fall back on when needed, considering he hasn’t played with a reliable tight end since entering the league. Cook still has speed and great catching ability despite his age, so if the Texans can make a move for him, he could be a perfect fit for a team with an influx of potential.
Future Hall of Fame tight end Jason Witten left behind quite the void with the Cowboys after playing at a high level for 15 seasons. It’s also worth noting Witten had played in every game but one since entering the league back in 2003.
Current tight ends Blake Jarwin and Rico Gathers have left a lot to be desired, so it would be wise for the Cowboys to look for a more viable option.
If the Cowboys were to hit free agency looking for a splash, they ought to take a serious look at Cook and what he could bring to the team. Quarterback Dak Prescott does not often like slinging the ball deep downfield and often looks for the tight end to get out of a jam. Cook has fantastic catch and run ability and the team desperately needs more weapons to assist Amari Cooper in the passing game.