The Tennessee Titans opted against placing the franchise tag on Jared Cook because they were leery of fighting his request for a wide-receiver designation, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday on "NFL Total Access."
Cook would have had an excellent case after lining up wide or in the slot on 70 percent of his snaps last season. The NFLPA was ready to expedite the appeals process, according to Rapoport, which could have left the Titans with a salary-cap hit of over $10 million as early as next week.
Although Cook is eager to test the market, the Titans aren't prepared to let him walk without presenting a strong long-term offer. In fact, one Titans source emphasized to Rapoport at the NFL Scouting Combine, "We are not losing him."
New coordinator Dowell Loggains is tweaking the offense to feature the short-passing game to help Jake Locker make quicker decisions in the pocket. He's counting on the dynamic Cook as a primary read in Locker's progression.
The Titans will continue talking to Cook's representatives leading up to the start of free agency next week. If a compromise can't be reached, Rapoport reports at least seven teams are interested in the "tight end."@ChrisWesseling.