The Oakland Raiders have improved their TE position, signing Jared Cook to a two year deal worth up to $12.2 million. While Cook isn’t the greatest talent out there, and has come up short of his predicted potential, he came up with some big plays down the stretch for the Green Bay Packers last year, both in the regular season and in the playoffs.
The last two seasons have seen the Oakland Raiders improve drastically, both on offense and defense. There has been a change in the culture surrounding the franchise and they are coming off of their first playoff appearance since the 2002 Super Bowl. All that said, they haven’t been able to find a consistent pass catching TE, using mainly Mychal Rivera and Clive Walford, both of whom came up short of expectations. Jared Cook can hopefully fix this issue. The TE for the Raiders doesn’t have to do much, as Oakland boasts one of the the best WR duos in the league in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, and they get all the coverage. But when those guys are double teamed, and Derek Carr needs to get the ball out of his hands on a 3rd and 7, the TE needs to be able to beat coverage and make a play down the middle of the field. Walford and Rivera could not get it done for the Raiders, so in comes Cook.
Although Cook has been shaky throughout his career, he’s always been thought to have the potential to be better. He played very well in the playoffs, helping the Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys to reach the NFC Championship. With Rivera gone, Cook joins Walford and Lee Smith to round out the TE group for Oakland. Cook is better than Rivera, so the group already looks better than they did last season. Hopefully that translates onto the field to give the Raiders yet another weapon in an already dangerous offense.