The 28-year-old Cook has recorded five straight seasons of 39 or more receptions for at least 481 yards.
He wasn't the only one shown the door in Los Angeles. The team also released defensive end Chris Long and linebacker James Laurinaitis.
This is a somewhat surprising move given Cook's ability to produce in an anemic Rams offense, but the move has a financial motive, as NFL Media's Albert Breer pointed out:
Albert Breer @AlbertBreer
By cutting Chris Long, James Laurinaitis and Jared Cook, the Rams save $24.375 million on their 2016 cap. They'll carry ~ $4.7M in dead $$.2/19/2016, 7:48:47 PM
Cook had two years remaining on a five-year, $35.1 million contract he signed back in 2013. He was owed $7 million and $7.1 million, respectively, over the last two years of his deal, according to Spotrac.com.
Joining the Rams from the Tennessee Titans in 2013, Cook set a franchise record for most receiving yards by a tight end with 671.
Last season, he was second on the team in receiving yards with 481, trailing only wide receiver Kenny Britt. Under quarterback Nick Foles, the Rams had the worst passing offense in the league, averaging just 175.3 yards per game.
Rams head coach Jeff Fisher spoke with the team's official website about Cook's departure:
Jared made an immediate impact when he joined the team in 2013. It’s been a pleasure watching him grow from the time I drafted him in Tennessee to seeing him set franchise records in St. Louis. Like Chris and James, he’s been a mainstay in the community and his contributions are commendable. We hope for the best for Jared and his family as he embarks on the next steps of his career.
Cook is a big, solid presence to have in any receiving group. At 6'4", 235 pounds, he's an athletic tight end that can be a nice option in any passing game around the league that's looking for an added, physical dimension.
Given his track record and consistency, he shouldn't be without a team for too long.
Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com.
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