Just two days after the news broke of Hunter Henry signing with the Patriots, the Chargers have found their new short-term replacement in former Saints tight end Jared Cook. Cook is being signed to a one-year deal worth up to $6 million with $4.5 million guaranteed.
The #Chargers have their replacement for Hunter Henry, as they have agreed to terms with FA Jared Cook, source said. He gets a 1-year deal worth $6M witht $4.5M fully guaranteed.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2021
The 6’5, 255-pound veteran is coming to Los Angeles after spending the past two seasons in New Orleans with new Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. Over that time catching passes from Drew Brees, Cook caught 80 passes for 1,209 yards and 16 touchdowns. He caught nine scores in 2019 and seven this past season, both are his top two totals of his 12-year career.
Cook’s career-high of 896 yards and 68 receptions were just three years ago when he was still with the Oakland Raiders. He also received a career-best 101 targets from quarterback Derek Carr.
As mentioned above, Cook’s one-year deal should be seen as a placeholder for either Donald Parham or a potential rookie tight end selected in next month’s draft. His familiarity with Lombardi was seen as a connection so far this offseason and it looks like that minimal level of sleuthing has paid off.
Cook as a dynamic receiving threat with size and speed to a Chargers offense that already boasts a good deal of both. When the Chargers played the Saints in Week 5 of this past season, Cook caught a pair of passes for 52 yards and a touchdown.