St. Louis Rams Reportedly Shopping TE Jared Cook


According to a Sunday morning report from CBS Sports’s Jason La Canfora, the St. Louis Rams have begun making calls to NFL teams about a potential trade involving tight end Jared Cook. La Canfora writes that “while no deals are imminent at this time, they could well come to pass” prior to the league’s trade deadline.

The 28-year-old Cook has definitely fallen out of favor with the team’s fan base, and it’s possible that the coaching staff and players could be growing tired of his inconsistent performance. Cook, whose freakish athleticism and playmaking ability has always been enough to overshadow his lack of blocking ability, has not delivered a very strong performance as a receiver during 2015. According to, Cook’s 10.7% drop rate is fifth-worst in the NFL among players who have been targeted 20 or more times this season. Cook is second on the team in receiving yards with 169 on 15 catches, but of equal importance is that the 6-foot-5, 254-pounder has been completely ineffective as a redzone target and has no touchdowns through

There are definite positives to Cook’s game to consider when discussing a trade. Statistically, he’s the best tight end in franchise history, as his 671 receiving yards in 2013 marked the highest-ever single-season total for a Rams tight end. He didn’t quite match that total last season, but his 634 yards still ranked fourth all-time for a Rams tight end. He’s done a fantastic job off the field when pressed into duty as the face of the franchise, and in general seems to be a stand-up guy despite some overt displays of emotion which have annoyed certain fragments of the fanbase.

Ultimately, though, the Rams will have to discuss whether those positive qualities outweigh his lack of blocking ability, his far-too-consistent drops, and his inability to contribute as an impact target in the endzone. With number two tight end Lance Kendricks being owed $18.5 million ($10 million guaranteed) over the next four years, there’s also the issue of creating playing time for another highly-paid player while the starter is underperforming.

Cook, who is currently receiving the remainder of his guaranteed money with a $5 million-dollar chunk of his $7 million salary for this season, is scheduled to make another $7 million next season and $7.1 million in 2017. Thus, he could basically be considered a “rental” for a contending team and could be affordably released after the season. It won’t just be the team that plans on acquiring Cook that needs to evaluate the financial ramifications of a move, though; the Rams must also consider how a possible Cook trade could affect their cap management for the remainder of 2015.

While Cook’s production doesn’t necessarily make him a hot commodity this year, solid tight ends are currently scarce in the NFL, so there could be several interested contenders. The New York Jets, New York Giants, and Atlanta Falcons quickly come to mind as flourishing teams that could use reinforcements at the tight end position.

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Then again, it’s not an absolute must that a team be a clear contender in order to make an impactful trade at the deadline. We saw the Rams trade fourth and sixth-round picks for safety Mark Barron at the trade deadline, and the former first-rounder ended up being a significant defensive contributor for a team that finished the season 6-10. With that said, Cook’s salary on his second NFL contract will make a move for him more cost-prohibitive than a move for a player like Barron, who is still playing out his rookie contract, would.

The NFL’s trade deadline is on Tuesday, November 3 at 3:00 PM CT, so the Rams have just over two weeks remaining to work out a potential Cook deal.

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