TE Jared Cook Joins the Oakland Raiders

Former Packers tight end Jared Cook has signed a free agent contract with the Oakland Raiders. In his one year with the Packers, he caught 30 passes for 377 yards and one touchdown.

Now, after one season and one incredible playoff memory, Cook is off to greener pastures in Oakland.

Cook was essentially the same player in Green Bay that he was throughout his entire career: a big, athletic, moderately productive tight end.

That’s what the Packers needed, but with new tight end Martellus Bennett aboard, Cook became redundant.

How Jared Cook helps the Raiders

Cook will be counted on to be more or less the same player he was in Green Bay: an athletic target for Derek Carr. The Raiders shouldn’t have any illusions about Cook transcending his career norms just because he has a good quarterback. He didn’t with Aaron Rodgers and he probably won’t with Carr.

But still, a big, proven, athletic target is never a bad thing to have.

If possible, should the Packers have matched the contract?

The Packers should only have matched Cook’s contract if they hadn’t been able to sign Martellus Bennett. They did, so whatever demands Cook may have had quickly went out the window.

Bennett is an upgrade over Cook in about every conceivable way, so the Packers had little reason to return to Cook once the Bennett deal is done.

Does Cook leaving hurt or help the Packers?

Cook’s leaving certainly doesn’t hurt the Packers. They already have a capable replacement on board. If anything, the Packers are getting a similar (if less productive) player in Lance Kendricks, who should fill whatever snaps they need from a backup Cook impersonator when Bennett is off the field.

In short, Cook’s departure is not a loss, and the Packers did well to upgrade.