The Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t get much production from their tight end group in 2020 and after releasing Tyler Eifert and with James O’Shaughnessy scheduled to become a free agent, it may be a good time to give the unit a makeover. Thus, the team’s brass should consider the possibility of signing Jared Cook, who will be available in the open market.
The 33-year-old tight end signed a two-year contract with the Saints in 2019 and showed he can still play at a high level, hauling in 80 receptions for 1,209 yards and 16 touchdowns in the last two seasons. Moreover, he’s averaged 15.1 yards per reception in that span.
A third-round pick by the Tennessee Titans in 2009, Cook signed with the Los Angeles Rams in 2009 and also spent time with the Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams before joining New Orleans in 2019. Although it took him a few seasons to get it going, he has hauled in 505 receptions for 6,673 yards and 41 touchdowns over his 12-year career.
Why should the Jacksonville Jaguars be interested in singing Cook?
The Jaguars’ tight end group caught a combined 68 passes for 627 yards with two trips to the end zone and Eifert and Shaughnessy accounted for 64 of those. On the bright side, the Jaguars have the assets to upgrade the unit via the draft or free agency. While the cost of trading up to take Kyle Pitts might be high, the team could target Pat Freiermuth late in the first round or early in the second round. They could also pursue Jonnu Smith or Hunter Henry in free agency, but regardless of whom they bring, they should also bring in Cook.
Giving Cook a prominent role on offense at this stage of his career could be risky as it’s uncertain how much gas he has left in the tank. However, the Jaguars could add a young tight end in free agency or the draft and bring in Cook in a complementary role.
It would need to make financial sense for the Jaguars, as there’s no point in paying Cook top-market money knowing he would just join the team on a short-term basis, but if he’s interested in signing a team-friendly team, Jacksonville should definitely give him a call.