Cook had 44 catches for 523 yards and four touchdowns before a shoulder injury ended his season early. He was hoping to be designated as a wide receiver, earning a much higher paycheck. Franchised TEs will only be earning $6.066 million in 2013, compared to $10.537 million for WRs. Tight ends are among the lowest-paid franchise positions, only making more than kickers and punters.
Cook has already stated that he will fight the tight end designation, and he appears to have a solid case. According to the collective bargaining agreement, the franchise tender "will apply to the position in which the player participated in the most plays", and Pro Football Focus notes that Cook lined up in the slot in 276 out of his 485 snaps (56 percent).
At any case, it's highly doubtful that Cook will sign his tender any time soon, and if he fights this the NFLPA may have his back. It will be interesting to see how this unprecedented situation plays out.
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