Jared Cook was released by the Los Angeles Rams last month and the 28-year old tight end managed to impress the Green Bay Packers, so impressed that the Packers broke a tradition as to signing free agents with the NFL Draft just around the corner.
The Packers signed Cook to a one-year contract worth $3.65 million that would include bonuses although Yahoo Sports reports that details of the contract were not yet available for publishing though Packers’ general manager Ted Thompson announced the signing.
The signing came after Cook made a free agent visit the Packers last March 14 and from the point of view of coach Mike McCarthy, the Birmingham, Alabama native truly impressed him and looks forward to working with him.
”I spent a lot of time with Jared Cook and he’s a fine, fine young man. I was impressed with him. So we’ll see what happens,” McCarthy said.
The Packers news reported that McCarthy will play an important role for the Packers to ease up the middle field of their offense. The six-foot-five, 254 lbs. Cook running the middle filed, McCarthy stated that teams might take a second look at their defense and hope that someone can hold him off.
“Let’s be honest, the middle of the field is open now. League rules. Big people running down the middle of the field, I’ll make no secret about it. I think that’s a key to offensive success, whether that’s a big receiver or big tight end or a big man running down the middle of the field, making those safeties cover you. It’s an important part of playing in today’s NFL,” McCarthy added.
The Packers see that Cook will not affect their chances in landing a potential pick in the coming draft since he was “cut” by the Rams. Aside from Cook also cut by the Rams was Chris Long and James Laurinaitis.
Cook was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the 2009 NFL Draft after which he signed a five-year contract with the St. Louis Rams after the Titans did not put a franchise tag on him in 2013.
In his first game with the Rams, Cook recorded 141 yards and 2 touchdowns on 7 receptions in a 27-24 win over the Arizona Cardinals. He fumbled a possible third touchdown in the first quarter that was stripped by Tyrann Mathieu.
His production slowed down for the remainder of the season, but he still finished with 51 receptions for 671 yards and 5 touchdowns. He finished with almost identical numbers in 2014. Cook’s tallies fell in 2015 to 39 catches on 75 targets for 481 yards.
Photo Courtesy: Johnmaxmena2/Wikimedia