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Thread: Jared Cook and the reality of free agency

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    Jared Cook and the reality of free agency

    Last Spring, the Rams entered the FA market with a goal of improving the receiving corps. The player they targeted was Jared Cook, who they signed to a 5 year, $35M deal.

    Cook started the year with a great game against Arizona, but has since been effective (as a receiver), but hardly prolific.

    The question is, how did the Rams spending decision compare to others who also shopped for receivers in the FA market?

    Here is a look at the 2013 signees and their progress (receptions/yards/TDs).

    Wes Welker (2 years, $12M) 50 555 9
    Mike Wallace (5 years,$60M) 36 480 1
    Brian Hartline (5years, $30M) 38 477 2
    Tony Gonzalez (2 years, $14M) 44 476 4
    Jared Cook (5 years,$35M) 32 411 3
    Martellus Bennett (4 years, $20M) 36 392 4
    Greg Jennings (5 years,$45M) 31 392 2
    Dwayne Bowe (5 years, $56M) 33 369 2
    Brandon Gibson (3 years, 10M) 30 323 3
    Danny Amendola (5 years, $28.5M) 23 296 1
    Brandon Myers (4 years, $14M) 23 265 1
    Anthony Fasano (4 years, $16M) 11 95 0
    Dustin Keller (1 year, $4.5M) IR

    Looking at these numbers, I think its fair to say that Cook has held his own compared to the FA class. Certainly, the "bust" of the group ha been Bowe, who is putting up Austin Pettis numbers for Andre Johnson money. By contrast, Wes Welker is outperforming his contract, though he's doing it with the help of Peyton Manning and a great WR corps.

    Given Cook's age, there is still plenty of time for him to "earn his money."

    If anything, I'd say that this list provides a good argument as to why the draft (though more of a crapshoot) is a better way to build a team, at least from a financial standpoint.

    However, if you're going to buy a player, you can do worse than Cook.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -11-07-2013 at 02:07 PM.
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    Re: Jared Cook and the reality of free agency

    Interesting post. I agree with your assessment Jared Cook is a valued addition to our team. I think he will grow into his contract over time, although as you correctly point out, he's not doing bad now. I think we're just overwhelmed by the lack of our offensive firepower given the weapons we added.

    I particularly enjoyed seeing the #'s for Greg Jennings, whom many of us here thought was our WR solution. Of course he's got AP, the #1 option on his offense and a weak QB throwing to him, but I would classify him similar to Bowe with a lot more mileage on his tires.

    Go Rams!

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    Re: Jared Cook and the reality of free agency

    Good points guys, Jennings was not a great investment but the Vikes needed an upgrade badly. Getting Cook was a nice score for us and is proving that this season. He is a very nice addition to our recieving corps, and he should just get better with time. His becoming familiar with the playbook and nuances of our QB's will only enhance what he can do, so I believe. And Bowe I think will get better statistcally as he and his new QB and coach go along. They could be hitting all cylinders by end of year and playoffs! Scarry for whoever draws the Chiefs, imho!

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    Re: Jared Cook and the reality of free agency

    Cook is 26. I'm not sure he's growing into the roll much further than he is.
    Free agents more often than not aren't the answer fan hope they'll be.

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    Re: Jared Cook and the reality of free agency

    Look at Hartline, putting up the same numbers as Wallace for half the price!

    This is a great look at the idea of adding one player to elevate a team. Most of the time it's just not that simple, and no one should have expected Cook to set the league on fire when we brought him in. That kind of stuff just doesn't happen in free agency, when teams are actively choosing to let a prospect go.

    We're probably getting a little under what we ideally wanted with Cook, but then again our whole offense is less than ideal right now. There's still time for Cook to find his comfort zone in our offense, and until then maybe he can work on his blocking.

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    Re: Jared Cook and the reality of free agency

    I see Cook as largely a disappointment....... Too many dropped passes and his blocking skills are not good. sometimes I just see him standing there vs. engaging.

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    Re: Jared Cook and the reality of free agency

    Quote Originally Posted by macrammer View Post
    I see Cook as largely a disappointment....... Too many dropped passes and his blocking skills are not good. sometimes I just see him standing there vs. engaging.
    Cook has 4 drops. Same as Hartline and Jennings. Fewer than Welker (5).

    That's the thing... we see the flaws in our players because we watch them constantly. With guys on other teams, if its not on the stat sheet, we might not be aware of it.
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    Re: Jared Cook and the reality of free agency

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Cook has 4 drops. Same as Hartline and Jennings. Fewer than Welker (5).

    That's the thing... we see the flaws in our players because we watch them constantly. With guys on other teams, if its not on the stat sheet, we might not be aware of it.
    Well, I watch welker...dude is astounding.......But you are right....I watch Cook each week. And I am most disappointed in his lack of blocking skills.

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    Re: Jared Cook and the reality of free agency

    Quote Originally Posted by macrammer View Post
    Well, I watch welker...dude is astounding.......But you are right....I watch Cook each week. And I am most disappointed in his lack of blocking skills.
    Fair enough, but I think you'll agree that the Rams didn't sign him for his blocking skills. He should work on that aspect of his game, and cannot be excused for missing assignments, but the Rams signed him for his pass-catching abilities.

    The point is not to suggest that we should not expect more from Cook. The point, rather, is to show that his performance is comparable to other FA receivers who were available last Spring.

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    Re: Jared Cook and the reality of free agency

    Av,

    I get what you are saying. I heard so much about this guy before the season and then really off radar screen after the Az game. As far as his blocking, I'd like to see at least make the effort. But in the context of how you laid it out, I agree that the draft is a better way to go. Sprinkle in some key FA's but build through draft.........

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    Re: Jared Cook and the reality of free agency

    Av is correct Cook wasn't signed for his blocking skills, but rather pass catching. Kendricks was the blocking TE which is starting to become Harkey. However, blocking is a skill that Cook will have to learn during the off-season as we play so many empty backfield sets. In the Seattle game Gruden even commented on a block that Cook didn't stay with and created pressure on Kellen.

    Go Rams!

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    Re: Jared Cook and the reality of free agency

    I've been disappointed in Cook. His first game was great and helps his overall numbers because he hasn't done much since week 1. I don't think he runs very good routes at times. I've seen him stop short on a few routes, one of which I remember turned into a Bradford INT. For what we paid him, I'm very disappointed so far.

    7 Receptions 141 Yards 2 TDs in his first game.

    25 Receptions 270 Yards 1 TD in the other 8 games.

    That is a big drop off.

    His route running, and sometimes quitting on those routes bothers me the most. Along with his poor blocking that was already mentioned earlier. It's still early in his Rams career, so I hope he can improve.
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    BRUUUUUUUUUUUCE


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    Re: Jared Cook and the reality of free agency

    Quote Originally Posted by shower beers View Post
    Look at Hartline, putting up the same numbers as Wallace for half the price!

    This is a great look at the idea of adding one player to elevate a team. Most of the time it's just not that simple, and no one should have expected Cook to set the league on fire when we brought him in. That kind of stuff just doesn't happen in free agency, when teams are actively choosing to let a prospect go.

    We're probably getting a little under what we ideally wanted with Cook, but then again our whole offense is less than ideal right now. There's still time for Cook to find his comfort zone in our offense, and until then maybe he can work on his blocking.
    YEP
    Not a prima dona like many of the FA athetes of today. The argument that an NFL players career is so short so we have to pver pay them top compensate for the rest of their lives is pathetic.

    For most of us, if we didnt perform up to par in our work environments we would be shown the door with zero guarantee.

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    Re: Jared Cook and the reality of free agency

    Dissapointment. Let's line him up at WR, and let him be Terrell Owens or Anquan Boldin.

    We could use our other 2 tight ends as tight ends, and have Cook, Givens and Pettis/Quick out there, with Tavon on 4 wr sets, 3rd downs, etc...

    Really does seem like there are so many options out there, and we've squandered them. Really inexcusable that we are 3-6.

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    Re: Jared Cook and the reality of free agency

    Quote Originally Posted by punahou View Post
    YEP
    Not a prima dona like many of the FA athetes of today. The argument that an NFL players career is so short so we have to pver pay them top compensate for the rest of their lives is pathetic.

    For most of us, if we didnt perform up to par in our work environments we would be shown the door with zero guarantee.
    then being dumb with their money factors in as well

    though there are definitely quite a few players that NEEDED help and never got it

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