Rob Gronkowski is retired – we think – and that leaves the Patriots with a serious void at tight end. Some have speculated that the Patriots could convince Jared Cook to back out of his not-yet-signed commitment to the Saints, but that won’t happen, according to Peter King of NBC Sports.
Cook will not reconsider his decision, according to King. That’s disappointing news for the Pats’ front office, especially since they aggressively pursued the former Raiders tight end.
Cook would not have been a true “replacement” for Gronkowski, but he would have given the Patriots a quality pass-catcher to keep the offense moving. Last year, the 31-year-old started 14 of his 16 games, hauling in 68 receptions for 896 yards and six scores. It was the most productive season of Cook’s career, though he has topped 50 catches in three other seasons.
Instead, Cook intends to still sign with the Saints, where he has an opportunity to fill a role similar to the one occupied by Jimmy Graham years ago. Drew Brees tends to spread the ball around in the New Orleans offense, but Cook could be an opportunity to assert himself as one of the very best tight ends in the NFL, especially now that Gronk is focusing on non-football endeavors.
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