Head coach Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints did not earn a first-round bye in the postseason despite impressing throughout the 2019 regular season. However, the surging NFC South franchise will host a playoff game on “Wild Card Weekend,” thanks in part to the continued success of veteran tight end Jared Cook

While Cook is just one a several Saints that encountered stellar campaigns this time around, the aforementioned Payton recently had some serious praise for the seasoned pass catcher.

“He made a heck of a catch today,” Payton said of his tight end following the Saints Week 17 win over the rival Carolina Panthers, via USA TODAY Sports. “He’s got a big catch radius. I love to see how he’s playing right now. Last week he had a significant game and a few weeks back prior to going out of the game he already had two touchdowns, so he’s a big part of what we do.”

Cook has notably played 11 seasons at the NFL level while also suiting up for the Tennessee Titans, then-St. Louis Rams, Green Bay Packers, and Oakland Raiders along the way. Even though Cook was limited to just 14 regular-season games in what ultimately became a memorable first year as a member of the Saints, his 705 receiving yards in 2019-20 are the third-highest of his professional career. Cook also managed to produce 43 receptions and nine receiving touchdowns for the Saints this year.

The Saints will now host the Minnesota Vikings in the opening round of the playoffs.