Jared Cook wants 'wide receiver' if franchise tagged by Titans

US PRESSWIRE

If Jared Cook is franchised by the Titans on Monday, he wants wide receiver money instead, $4 million more than he would receive if labelled as a tight end.

Tennessee Titans tight end Jared Cook is looking for a bigger paycheck if he lands the franchise tag, requesting to be classified as a wide receiver, NFL.com reported on Friday.

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Cook has 131 catches for 1,717 yards and eight touchdowns over his four-year career with the Titans, but he is coming off a season ended early by a torn rotator cuff.

That isn't stopping Cook from going after the larger paycheck, however, and according to NFL.com, he is ready to make a case to be classified as a wide receiver. It is quite the substantial pay bump to get the franchise tag for a wide receiver. If Cook is successful, he will make $10.537 million next year versus the $6.066 he would make as a tight end.

The tight end is the second lowest paid franchise player, only making more than a kicker or a punter. This isn't the first time a tight end has made the case. Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley reportedly was ready to make the same case before eventually signing a two-year contract worth $14 million instead.

The Titans made it known that they want to keep Cook around on the team, with head coach Mike Munchak telling Yahoo! Sports he is confident the offense in place will only help increase Cook's productivity.

''We feel he's a big part of us having success next year is having him in the offense and using him in different ways ... with the changes we made on the offensive side of the ball. We feel can give him an opportunity to catch more balls and be more productive and maybe have him be more efficient with the plays he's in there."

Cook's 44 passes and 523 receiving yards ranked him fourth on the Titans in 2012 despite missing the final three games of the season. He often was lined up in the slot and with tight ends Craig Stevens and Taylor Thompson often picking up the blocks. Cook lined up in the slot for 276 of the 485 snaps he saw on the field last year, good for 56 percent. This doesn't include the number of times he lined up wide.

He is ready to take up his case with the NFL Players Association, and they might have an argument to make. As the Tennessean points out, Article 9, Section 2 of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement states "that the tender will apply to the position in which the player participated in the most plays."

Titans general manager Ruston Webster says Cook has been a tight end for the team and doesn't expect a battle over it. The $4 million dollars Cook will miss out on if he is franchised as a tight end may beg to disagree.

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