Jared Cook led the Raiders in receiving yards last season, but he may could be on the way out.
He hasn’t been listed as someone that’s on the chopping block but it wouldn’t shock me to see Jared Cook released and you ready for it.... Sean Smith back at a big time reduction. Maybe released and brought back
— Eddie Borsilli (@Borsilli) February 11, 2018
We’ll ignore the Sean Smith note for now. But Cook getting cut would be a bit of a surprise.
Despite coming to Oakland with questionable hands, Cook had a higher catch rate than Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper last season.
Cook is due to make $5.3 million this season, but the Raiders could release him and not have any ramifications against the salary cap. But that $5.3 million isn’t a high price for a tight end.
According to Spotrac, Cook would be the 18th highest paid tight end in the NFL in 2018, where six tight ends will carry a cap hit of at least $9 million. Cook was 11th among tight ends in receptions this past season.
Cook certainly isn’t a massively over paid tight end. His production fits in well with his pay.
Cook, Crabtree and Cooper were the only three receivers to see over 70 targets last season. So dumping Cook would mean the Raiders would have to find significant production from somewhere else.
That could come from the draft, where the Raiders could use a middle-round pick on a tight end. The Raiders fourth round pick could carry a cap hit of $656,474, significantly lower than Cook’s $5.3 million hit.
So if the plan is to release Cook and fill the void with a rookie, the Raiders would save nearly $5 million on the swap.
Or the Raiders could decide to make a splashy move in free agency and chase after one of the bigger names like Jimmy Graham or Tyler Eifert. But both of those would command more than Cook’s $5.3 million.
Tyler Bischoff hosts Coaches Corner on AM 720 KDWN Monday through Friday at 6:00 pm.