Saints To Sign Jared Cook

The Saints are close to a deal with free agent tight end Jared Cook, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Twitter link). When the deal is inked on Tuesday, it’ll be a two-year contract worth $15.5MM, including $8MM fully guaranteed in Year 1, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). With incentives, Cook can earn up to $19MM between now and the end of the 2020 season.

Cook, 31, just wrapped up the best season of his NFL career, leading the Raiders in receptions (68), receiving yardage (896), and receiving touchdowns (6). Cook ranked as a top-five tight end league-wide in all three of those categories, while Pro Football Focus grades him ninth at his position. Additionally, Cook finished fifth among NFL tight ends in Football Outsiders’ DYAR — which measures value over a replacement level player — and 11th in DVOA, which quantifies value on a per-play basis.

The Saints are losing Ben Watson to retirement, but still have Josh HillGarrett Griffin, and Dan Arnold at tight end. Cook, clearly, would represent an upgrade over any of those options, and would project to see the majority of snaps and targets at the position in New Orleans.

A number of free agent tight ends — Jesse JamesTyler Kroft, and Nick Boyle among them — received multi-year deals worth $6-7MM annually, and Cook managed to top figures. Heading into free agency, he was widely viewed as the top tight end available on the open market.

New Orleans originally hosted Cook when the free agent market opened last Wednesday. At the time, both the incumbent Raiders and the Patriots were believed to be “monitoring” Cook’s market. There was some speculation that the Patriots would circle back to Cook in the wake of Rob Gronkowski’s retirement, but Cook kept his word and remained committed to the Saints.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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8 comments on “Saints To Sign Jared Cook

  1. imindless
    imindless

    Saints need better help at de than te what its gonna cost to sign cook after a career yearis gonna be bad

    • Nathan

      Did you see the list of current tight ends on the Saints roster? That is probably the worst group of TEs in the NFL. Easily the worst position group on the team. The Saints desperately need a TE, and Cook is the only one still available that could significantly upgrade the group. Considering how limited the team is on draft picks and how there is typically a significant learning curve with rookie TEs you can count on route. Cook is the only option.

      • JT19

        The Jaguars would like a word with you lol. Their tight end group is easily the worst and they don’t have a QB who has routinely been able to get extra production out of average skill position players.

  2. CubsRebsSaints

    He’ll be great for his age 32 season. That might be all before the decline, but that’s all NOLA is really after anyways

  3. Casey

    Looks like Raiders will draft a TE, possibly with one of their first 4 picks. Cook would not have had the same type of year with the improved receiving corps. Good luck to him, but wouldnt pay big bucks after the flukey 2018.

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