The Denver Broncos could be the perfect fit for one of the top tight ends on the market.
According to Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox, the Broncos would be a fit for two-time Pro Bowl tight end Jared Cook. The veteran tight end has played with six teams during his 13-season career, including AFC West rivals the Los Angeles Chargers and the Las Vegas Raiders.
In a piece published March 26, Knox explained how Cook could fit with the Broncos, who traded their starting tight end, Noah Fant, to the Seattle Seahawks in the Russell Wilson trade.
“Cook can be a low-end starter or high-end complementary tight end wherever he lands,” Knox wrote. “The Broncos would make sense for him, as they included Noah Fant as part of their trade to acquire Russell Wilson. In Denver, Cook could pair with Albert Okwuegbunam—who had 330 yards and two touchdowns in 2021.”
Cook’s Long Resume of Consistency
Cook remains a productive tight end even as he enters his age-35 season. He posted 48 receptions for 564 yards and four touchdowns in 2021, his fifth consecutive season of topping 500 yards.
He was named to two Pro Bowl squads as recently as 2018 and 2019 as members of the Raiders and the New Orleans Saints, respectively.
Pro Football Focus gave Cook an offensive grade of at least 71.9 in three consecutive seasons between 2018 and 2020, putting him in the top half of graded tight ends.
PFF, which projects Cook’s market value at one year and $4 million, wrote that Cook can remain a “productive” member of an offense as he enters his 14th season.
“Cook has always been a supremely physically talented receiving option at tight end who has been productive but perhaps always left some meat on the bone,” PFF wrote in a March 16 ranking of free agents. “He can still be a productive member of an offense in 2022.”
The Broncos are bringing in a new quarterback in Wilson. Considering Cook’s experience playing with established quarterbacks — including Drew Brees, Derek Carr and Aaron Rodgers — Cook could fit into the Broncos’ offense as Wilson’s security blanket.
Considering the Broncos’ projected starting tight end is Albert Okwuegbunam — a 23-year-old who has just six starts to his name — it would be in Denver’s best interest to sign a veteran tight to play alongside him.
Cook fits that mold.
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Hackett on Wilson: ‘We’re Joined at the Hip’
It’s safe to say new head coach Nathaniel Hackett is looking forward to his partnership with Wilson.
The former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator will have the opportunity to coach the nine-time Pro Bowler for the first time when the two forces join the Broncos this season. During an interview over the weekend with NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero at the Annual League Meeting, Hackett said that he and his new quarterback have been communicating “nonstop.”
Via Adam Maya of NFL.com:
“We’re just trying to get to know each other,” Hackett said. “He’s very, very excited as I am too. And I think for the both of us, for any coach, you want a guy that’s fired up, that wants ownership, that wants to go out there and not skip a beat. He wants to represent the Broncos and himself, the coaches, everybody. And that’s the passion that you’re hunting. And I think that’s what Russell brings every single day.”
“We’re joined at the hip now and I love being on his hip,” Hackett concluded.
The two major names will look to end a six-season postseason drought for the Broncos, the longest stretch in the franchise’s history since the 1970s.