With all the dysfunction going on with the Raiders offense this season, there is one guy who’s been a pleasant surprise for the unit. Tight end Jared Cook is that guy. Coming into this season, the newly acquired free agent from Green Bay had some question marks attached to his name. Many believed that Cook was in the best situation any tight end could be in last season. He was finally in a top tier offense, but more importantly, had one of the best quarterbacks in the league throwing him the ball in Aaron Rodgers.
Things didn’t as planned with the Packers, so Cook became a free agent once again and signed with Oakland on a two year, $10.6 million contract with $5 million guaranteed back in March. So far, Cook is looking like the TE everyone expected.
The former South Carolina Gamecock has 19 receptions, 195 yards and one touchdown so far this season. Cook is on pace for 61 catches, which would be a career high, and is forming a strong connection with both quarterbacks Derek Carr and EJ Manuel. On top of that, Cook is second on the team with 31 targets and tied with Michael Crabtree for the team lead in receptions.
This sort of production at the TE position is welcoming for the Raiders offense, especially since the team’s been lacking a consistent force at the position for some year now. Not only does Cook provide that with his stats, his big frame (6’6″) is a constant mismatch for safeties and linebackers.
The Raiders offense is too good to continue down this path for the rest of the season. At the same time, Cook was producing during this five week stretch. Once Carr and Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing get things settled, his role in the offense will only grow. Now on his fourth team, Cook looks like he’s finally found a home with the Raiders.