On March 13, 2013 tight end Jared Cook signed a five-year $35.11 million contract with the St. Louis Rams that had $19 million guaranteed. Cook was brought over from the Tennessee Titans where his old head coach Jeff Fisher was now with the Rams. Cook put up decent numbers in Tennessee. In his best season there, Cook totaled over 750 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He followed that season up with a campaign resulting in over 500 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Not bad. Then he signed with the Rams.
Cook was thought to be the offensive juggernaut for the Rams, the true threat on offense. He was made out to be the Jimmy Graham or Gronk of the Rams offense before he even played a game. Cook was somewhat impressive in his first year with the Rams (2013), finishing with 671 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Cook digressed in 2014, totaling 634 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
So far in 2015, Cook hasn’t wowed anyone. He has 161 receiving yards over four games and no touchdowns. But there are three things that stand out when it comes to Mr. Jared Cook: His drops, bad blocking, and attitude issue.
Cook has caught 14 passes on 21 targets this season. That’s not too awful but when you look at the tape, Cook drops passes when he’s wide open and uncovered. So far in his seven-year career, Cook has only caught 60% of the passes thrown to him (248/416). That isn’t treacherous but considering the types of passes Cook drops, those numbers are pretty awful.
Blocking. The one other thing besides catching passes that you have to do as a tight end. Cook is an awful blocker. He doesn’t attack blockers, avoids contact, and doesn’t stay on blocks. With a Rams offensive line that is young and struggling thus far in the season, they need all the blocking help they can get and Cook isn’t helping one bit. For instance, take this play. This was on Todd Gurley’s big 52-yard run. The entire offensive line is working their tails off, including Rob Havenstein, who is taking on two defenders. What is Jared Cook doing? Just standing there, watching (Cook is the one to the right of Havenstein).
One final big flaw in Cook’s game is his attitude/temper. He’s a hot head. He gets angry at quarterbacks when he’s the one dropping easy catches. If you need to be reminded of his temper, go look back at his rant on Austin Davis against the Cowboys in 2014. Eliminating Cook and his temperament would better the offense. It would be one less problem they would have to worry about.
Cook is set to make $8 million ($7 million and $1 million in bonuses) in each season from 2015-2017. Cutting him would open up some cap space for the Rams. Cook has not earned that big contract. The Rams overpaid him by a lot. The Rams would be way better off by parting ways with Cook and moving Lance Kendricks to the TE1 position and Cory Harkey to the TE2 position. The Rams could even go as far as to sign a current free agent tight end such as Zach Miller or Chase Coffman to replace the void of Cook if they were to cut him. Cook likely won’t be released (if at all) until after the 2015 season but the sooner he is released, the better off the Rams offense will be.