Tight end is one of the few positions of “need” that the Green Bay Packers didn’t address in the 2022 NFL Draft. Robert Tonyan could start the year on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Marcedes Lewis, while a fan favorite and monster blocker, is on a year to year contract it seems. Deguara has slowly turned into an H-Back. Dominique Dafney and Tyler Davis are both unproven. However GM Brian Gutekunst has praised Tyler Davis.
Following the draft, Gutekunst said he was happy with the group he has on the roster. He praised Davis especially, who joined the team early last season and showed some nice flashes. “I think we might have something there,” Gutekunst said of Davis. All in all, the Packers have potential in their tight end room. But they also have plenty of questions. Bringing in a familiar veteran that Aaron Rodgers has a rapport with may not be such a bad idea.
TE Jared Cook
Jared Cook is currently sitting on the open market as a free agent. The 35 year old tight end has bounced around the league almost his whole career. He’s played for six different teams, however his production has always remained consistent. Since 2010 he’s had only two seasons with below 500 receiving yards. Since 2018 he’s recorded 26 receiving touchdowns (The Packers released him after the 2016 season).
Bringing in this type of production would be invaluable to an offense looking for downfield threats. Even better, his contract wouldn’t demand much more than the veteran minimum. Over the last four seasons his averages per 17 games are: 55 receptions, 744 yards, and 7 touchdowns. Cook (like Marcedes Lewis) continues to prove that age is just a number.
Even if Robert Tonyan works out this year, having an insurance policy behind him would be nice and wouldn’t cost much against the cap (see the Sammy Watkins deal). Veterans like these are what can make a difference late in games.
Update as of June 4th:
Jared Cook remains a free agent and there is no indications of him signing with a team. This cheap veteran receiving threat remains on option for Green Bay. Green Bay’s salary cap has tripled in size and this type of signing wouldn’t have much impact at all.