New Orleans Saints, NFL Free Agency

New Orleans Saints sign Jared Cook: Grade, reaction and more

He’s seemingly been on the team’s radar this offseason. And now the New Orleans Saints will finally add Pro Bowl tight end Jared Cook to their roster.

The New Orleans Saints have won the last two NFC South titles. It’s the first time in the team’s history that the club owns back-to-back division crowns. It’s a talented club that comes off a 13-3 season and was one win away from the franchise’s second Super Bowl appearance. But that loss in the conference title game to the Los Angeles Rams is a different subject for another time.

No player in NFL history has thrown for more yards than 18-year veteran Drew Brees, who threw for 3,992 yards in 15 outings in ‘18. This past season, wide receiver Michael Thomas led the league with 125 receptions. He caught a team-high 104 passes with the club. Running back Alvin Kamara is also a vital part of the passing game. But the tight end’s production in Sean Payton’s offense has dropped in recent years for the most part.

And that’s why the addition of well-traveled tight end Jared Cook (which has now been verified by the Saints’ website) adds up to a terrific move for the team from the Big Easy.

Contract Details

Terms of the deal were not immediately available. Last week, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (via Saints Wire) reported the following: “It’s gonna be $8 million fully guaranteed in year one, it’s really just a one-year deal.”

National Reaction

It’s a case of a player that is apparently getting better with age. In his 10th NFL season and second with the Silver and Black, the 31-year-old performer (who didn’t miss a game with the club) set personal bests with 68 catches, 896 receiving yards and six touchdowns. In his first year with the Raiders, Cook made a career-high 16 starts and in ’18, was in the opening lineup 14 times. His two-year totals with the club add up to 122 receptions, good for 1,584 yards and eight touchdowns.

Cook was also named to his first Pro Bowl this past season. He’s emerged as a big-time performer in key moments the last few years and should be a major asset for a New Orleans’ team looking to make it three straight NFC South titles.

It’s an aspect of their passing game that was certainly missing the last two seasons. And the addition of Cook can only add up to good things for Brees and the Saints’ offense. The veteran target figures to make life a lot easier for the team’s other pass-catching performers.

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