Coming off a career year spent with the Oakland Raiders, tight end Jared Cook is reportedly set to join the New Orleans Saints.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk initially reported a deal was imminent on Wednesday night. On Thursday morning, Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network confirmed it.
What it means: As Rapoport mentioned in his report, this absolutely gives Drew Brees “an immediate big-time weapon” in the pass game.
- Cook is coming off a season in which he caught 68 passes for 896 yards and six touchdowns.
- One off the speedier tight ends in the NFL, he’ll immediately upgrade New Orleans’ offense at this position.
Why Cook is such a big add: The Saints are already loaded on offense, particularly at running back and wide receiver. However, the team hasn’t had a top tight end since Jimmy Graham.
Here’s a look at New Orleans’ lineup of skill-position players on offense:
- Running back: Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray
- Tight end: Jared Cook, Josh Hill
- Wide receiver: Michael Thomas, Tre’Quan Smith, Ted Ginn
When you consider that the Saints reportedly want to also bring Dez Bryant back into the fold, you’re looking at an offense that can win no matter what opposing defenses throw its way.
The Drew Brees factor: Having all these weapons is great. Yet it takes the right signal caller to put it all together. It just so happens, New Orleans does.
The past three seasons, Brees has elevated his game to a level of efficiency we’ve never before seen on such a consistent basis.
- 2016: 70 percent completion rate, 5,208 yards, and 37 touchdowns
- 2017: 72 percent completion rate, 4,335 yards, and 23 touchdowns
- 2018: 74.4 percent completion rate, 3,992 yards, and 32 touchdowns
The bottom line: Adding Jared Cook will turn this super-powered offense into an unstoppable juggernaut.
Opposing defenses will have to pick their poison. Try and stop the run, and Brees will pick you apart through the air, on the sidelines, deep downfield, and everywhere in between.
Try and shut down the passing game, and the Saints will run you into the ground.
Cook couldn’t have landed in a better spot, personally, as well. He now will play with the most accurate passer in the history of the league, and he’ll rack up the yards after the catch in a big way this coming season.