Tight end news is just flying in, and this time it’s the Chargers finding a replacement for Hunter Henry. Los Angeles has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with veteran Jared Cook, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
The pact has a max value of $6MM, Schefter notes. The deal comes with $4.5MM guaranteed, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Cook’s last contract was worth $15.5MM over two years with the Saints, so he’s taking a bit of a pay cut for this season.
It’s a nice signing for the Chargers after they lost Henry to the Patriots on a massive deal, and Cook was one of the bigger name players left on the board. Cook is 33 now, but has remained an effective pass-catcher over the middle. This will now be the sixth team in Cook’s career that started as a third-round pick of the Titans back in 2009.
From Tennessee he made his way to the Rams, then the Packers, then the Raiders (where he had his best season in 2018), and finally the Saints the past two years. His production dipped a bit in 2020, but he still had 504 yards and seven touchdowns despite Drew Brees missing a handful of games and failing to push the ball downfield in others.
He was a Pro Bowler each of the previous two seasons in 2018 and 2019. In 2018 with the Raiders he had 896 yards and six touchdowns, and 705 yards and nine touchdowns the following year with New Orleans. Los Angeles had been linked to the Zach Ertz talks as a possible trade partner, but this now likely takes them out of the running there.
With Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Austin Ekeler all still in the fold, Justin Herbert will once again have a very solid group of weapons as he enters his sophomore campaign. The Chargers have also upgraded his offensive line big time, so watch out for this offense in 2021.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.