Jared Cook Should Excel With Green Bay Packers In 2016

By Christopher Gamble

The Green Bay Packers have reportedly signed tight end Jared Cook, giving Aaron Rodgers another weapon to and adding a new layer to the their offense.

Richard Rodgers enjoyed a breakout season last year with 58 catches for 510 yards and eight touchdowns. However, as evidenced by his 8.8 yards-per-catch, Rodgers wasn’t much of a deep threat. The Packers have lacked a tight end with the ability to stretch a defense since Jermichael Finley.

Cook spent the last three years with the St. Louis Rams and enjoyed some decent seasons, but he drew the ire of fans from time to time because he was making a lot of money and wasn’t putting up all-world numbers. He totaled 142 catches, 1,786 yards and eight touchdowns while in St. Louis. His best season came in 2013, his first in St. Louis, when he caught 51 passes for 671 yards and five touchdowns. He was released in February, and the Packers are the only team to show real interest in the tight end.

Adding Cook to the offense will give Rodgers an intermediate threat that can open up the play action game by forcing defenses to respect Cook’s speed. Richard Rodgers just couldn’t do that. Linebackers could cheat a little knowing that he wouldn’t blow by them. This led to defenses being in better position to play the run. Cook should be able to find a comfortable niche in this offense and could be one of the better free agent signings when you consider the cost compared to production.

The Packers’ offense was going to receive a huge shot in the arm with the return of Jordy Nelson. Now they are adding Cook on top of Randall Cobb and Richard Rodgers. That’s a lot of weapons for Aaron Rodgers, and it should open up the run game for Eddie Lacy, who has rededicated himself this offseason and might be in the best shape of his career.

Cook’s contract is for one year worth a maximum of $3.65 million with all of the incentives, which could make him a huge value. The Packers’ offense should be back to its elite form, and Cook will play a major role.

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