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Here’s a Good Sign the Packers will Keep Jared Cook

Tight end Jared Cook hasn’t really been the big-play threat most envisioned when the Green Bay Packers signed him in the offseason. In the nine games he’s played, Cook has had his moments, but his statistics — 26 catches for 321 yards (12.7 per) and one touchdown — are underwhelming.

Cook is averaging just short of three catches per game and 37.7 yards per game. Again, pretty underwhelming.

A large part of the issue with those stats is the Packers don’t really utilize Cook properly. They rarely send him down the middle of the field, where he would likely excel, and even if they did, he’d probably never get the ball anyway. Aaron Rodgers has shown a refusal to throw anywhere but to the outside.

This is actually a problematic symptom for the entire offense.

Nonetheless, the Packers obviously like what they have in Cook, which is a big, athletic target that’s a matchup problem for linebackers and defensive backs alike. The question is, do they like him enough to keep him around next season?

Cook is playing out a modest one-year, $2.75 million deal. Considering the less-than-underwhelming Richard Rodgers (29 for 257 and two) is the only other tight end on the roster, the Packers will need to come up with another tight end somewhere. Decision time is looming on Cook.

Coach Mike McCarthy gave us some indication of which way the Packers are leaning on the decision.

“One thing no one ever keeps a stat about is … how much attention does a player require?” McCarthy said. “That’s important. So, whether it’s your quarterback or a running back or a tight end that can win one-on-one. Those are all the things you have to factor into his presence here, because he runs down the middle of the field, winning a one-on-one. The most important thing is he’s a great teammate. He’s been a great fit for our locker room.”

All of those things are qualities the Packers value, although we completely disagree about the middle of the field part of that comment.

Cook is only theoretically great in the middle of the field. He can win the matchups, but we’ll never actually know about his middle-of-the-field prowess because Rodgers doesn’t throw the ball there.

ESPN also whipped out this useless stat to make a case for Cook: Aaron Rodgers has thrown 15 touchdowns and only one interception with Cook on the field. I say that’s useless because how many has he thrown with Jordy Nelson on the field? Or what about Davante Adams? Aaron Rodgers only has seven interceptions all season, so the TD-to-INT ratio with anyone on the field is going to be pretty solid.

Nonetheless, it’s 15-to-1 with Cook on the field. By comparison, it’s 36-to-7 with Aaron Rodgers on the field, which is a pitiful 5-to-1 ratio…

Here’s what it comes down to. With his numbers this season and past inconsistencies, Cook isn’t likely to find a huge market for his services as a free agent. The Packers, quite obviously, need some tight ends for 2017.

Looks like a match made in thrift store heaven to us.

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Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

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4 Comments

  1. PF4L December 29, 2016

    ” By comparison, it’s 36-to-7 with Aaron Rodgers on the field, which is a pitiful 5-to-1 ratio…”

    A 5/1 td/int ratio is what you consider pitiful for a NFL QB?

    In what fucked up world do you live in?

  2. Empacador December 29, 2016

    This is by design. Limit his effectiveness and sign him on the cheap for long term. I think the 5:1 ratio was sarcasm that maybe didn’t come off that way at first read.

  3. Deepsky December 30, 2016

    McCarthy’s press conference yesterday was very interesting. After talking about how Cook gets a lot of attention from the defense, McCarthy was later asked about the ‘attention’ stat and he started to explain that the Packers keep stats on this very thing. Then he abruptly said he didn’t want to talk about it.

    1. Empacador December 30, 2016

      Well of course he doesn’t want to talk about it. He might give away some state secret if he did that and everyone would start copying the Packer model. Smartest guy in the room, just ask him! Lol!