Jared Cook has a new home. The tight end signed with the Oakland Raiders, the team announced on Thursday. Cook will be yet another big target in Oakland’s diverse arsenal of pass-catching weapons, which should be exciting for Derek Carr, who reportedly played a big role in the Raiders landing Cook.
The Raiders quarterback expressed his happiness on Twitter after the signing:
Carr wasn’t the only one, either. Wide receiver Seth Roberts seemed pretty happy with it as well:
Weapons.— Seth Roberts (@SethTRoberts) March 16, 2017
Cook joins the fourth team of his career after stints with the Tennessee Titans, St. Louis Rams and Green Bay Packers. Cook got his start with the Titans, who selected him in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He flashed serious potential as a special athlete at 6’5, 254 pounds, but struggled with consistency and had a tendency to disappear for large stretches. The Titans let him hit free agency after his rookie contract ran out, and he landed with the Rams on a five-year deal worth $35.1 million.
Cook’s Rams tenure went much like his run with the Titans — despite showing flashes of brilliance, he never quite lived up to his potential or the contract. After failing to score a single touchdown in 2015, the Rams saw enough and released Cook. He ended up with the Packers on a one-year deal.
Injuries limited Cook to just 10 games last year, but he played a key role down the stretch as the Packers surged to a division title. Cook was a difference-maker in the playoffs, hauling in a fantastic sideline catch that helped the Packers knock off the Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card round. Despite his heroics, Green Bay went in a different direction in the offseason, signing Martellus Bennett to take his place as the starting tight end.
Turning 30 years old in April, Cook is no longer the burner capable of taking over in the passing game like he once was. But that’s not to say he can’t be a fantastic weapon alongside Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and even newly signed Cordarrelle Patterson. Adding Cook gives the Raiders an impact tight end after Clive Walford failed to make the leap many anticipated in 2016, but it also gives Walford a potential mentor to help the youngster grow. It also gives the Raiders versatility to potentially work out of two tight end sets.
Cook’s deal with the Raiders is for two years:
The #Raiders and TE Jared Cook agreed to terms on a 2-year deal worth up to $12.2M, source said. The first year is fully guaranteed.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2017
After making an improbable playoff run in 2016, the Raiders look even stronger heading into 2017. If the Carr-Cook connection can get going, Oakland looks primed to make another postseason run this year.