Report: TE Jared Cook, Chargers Agree to 1-Year Contract Worth Up to $6M

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2021

New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook (87) runs a route in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Chargers reportedly signed free-agent tight end Jared Cook to a one-year contract Thursday.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the deal carries a maximum value of $6 million.

Cook is coming off a 2020 season with the New Orleans Saints in which he recorded 37 catches for 504 yards, his lowest totals since an injury-marred 2016 season with the Green Bay Packers, but he still scored seven touchdowns in 15 games.

The 2009 third-round pick has quietly been one of the NFL's most consistently productive tight ends during a journeyman career that's also included stops with the Tennessee Titans, St. Louis Rams, Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders.

He's compiled 505 receptions for 6,673 yards and 41 touchdowns in 178 regular-season games. His best season came with the Raiders in 2018 when he posted 68 grabs for 896 yards and six scores.

Cook, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, said in August he was happy the San Francisco 49ers' George Kittle landed a five-year, $75 million contract to help everyone else at the position.

"It's huge for tight ends—especially young tight ends across the board," Cook told reporters. "How I feel is—other than the quarterback—we do some of the most work on the offense and not all the time we're compensated for that."

At 33, the University of South Carolina product may struggle to attract multiyear offers for the remainder of his career, but his $6 million in total value would rank 15th at the position for 2021, per Spotrac.

Cook should immediately slot in as the Bolts' starting tight end following the departure of Hunter Henry, who signed with the New England Patriots. He'll be the team's No. 3 option in the passing game behind wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.

It's a solid landing spot for the veteran pass-catcher and could land him on a lot of fantasy-football sleeper lists as the 2021 regular season moves closer.