The Chargers signed veteran tight end Jared Cook to a one-year, $6 million deal Thursday afternoon in what should be viewed as nothing more than a short-term replacement for Hunter Henry.
The soon-to-be 34-year old is obviously a much older player than many expected the Chargers to sign, if they were going to do it at all. But pause for a minute. Cook isn’t “washed” by any means. When given the chance to play with top quarterbacks, he’s produced. In fact, he’s been a much better tight end on paper than Henry has been in the same amount of time.
Over the past three seasons, Cook has caught 22 touchdowns from both Drew Brees and Derek Carr, including a career-high nine in 2019. Henry has caught 21 touchdowns in his entire career. Even when you take away the year he missed entirely, it’s still the same. More years and less touchdowns than Cook.
But I’ll be honest. Cook is not the same well-rounded player as Henry. Cook will not be setting the edge in the run game, but he will be stretching the field more than Henry ever did. For an offense that wants to be vertical and explosive for Justin Herbert, this isn’t a bad signing. It’s not the most ideal, but it’s certainly not bad.
Anyways, these are all my knee-jerk reactions. Time will tell how all this plays out, but I’m not feeling too negative just yet. Let me know what you all think in the comments below.
Now for today’s links.
Best social media reactions to the signing of Jared Cook (Chargers.com)
NFL Nation reporters join the latest episode of Chargers Weekly (Chargers.com)
Grading the Jared Cook signing (Bolt Beat)
What signing Jared Cook means for the Chargers (Chargers Wire)
The Bills are signing Mitch Trubisky (ESPN)
The Lions released Chase Daniel (ESPN)
The NFL finalized new broadcast deals through 2033 (NFL.com)
Three strong free agency fits and three questionable ones (NFL.com)
A new mock draft by Josh Edwards (CBS Sports)
Andy Dalton is QB1 in Chicago (Bleacher Report)