Stop the presses: Green Bay has ventured into the free-agent market.
The Packers signed veteran tight end Jared Cook, the team announced on Monday. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported it's a one-year, $3.6 million contract, per two sources involved with the deal. Cook was in Green Bay on Monday to take a physical, which was agreed upon last week. He'll contest for the No. 1 spot on the team's depth chart and provide a consistent receiving threat for Aaron Rodgers.
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- NFC free agency grades
- AFC free agency grades
- Free agency winners and losers
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- Robert Griffin III signs with Cleveland Browns
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- Collateral damage: Players hurt by free agency
- Collateral benefits: Players aided by free agency
Despite the fact that tight end Richard Rodgers was second on the team in receptions last year with 58 (for 510 yards and eight touchdowns), Green Bay was hoping for some additional help to open up the middle of the field. Andrew Quarless played in just five games last year before landing on injured reserve. He is currently a free agent.
Cook, 28, comes to Green Bay after three solid seasons in St. Louis. Since 2013, Cook logged 142 catches for 1,786 yards and eight touchdowns. The former Titan was a third-round draft pick back in 2009.
We made a joke about the Packers in free agency at the beginning of this post and hope it was taken that way. For anyone who follows along on Twitter, we were excited about a piece by the Acme Packing Co. about general manager Ted Thompson in free agency, and why he takes far more flack than he deserves. The Packers are a homegrown organization and prefer to operate that way. The post does a nice job of explaining why.
What Thompson does do is linger in free agency and strike when the time is right. Richard Rodgers is a good tight end, but pairing him with a quick, rangy, vertical player can only make him better. The Packers suffered at times last year due to their struggle to find consistent, reliable help.
Cook should go a little way toward fixing that problem.