Patriots: 3 free agent tight ends who could help the offense take off
By Mike Luciano
2. Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints
Cook might’ve famously reversed course on joining New England a few years ago in order to link up with Drew Brees and New Orleans, but the arrangement helped make him a Pro Bowler during the 2019 season. Cook was a valuable target for Brees if he needed a tough conversion over the middle.
In his 10-year career prior to New Orleans, the two-time Pro Bowler recorded 25 touchdowns. He reinvented himself as the go-to red zone threat with the Saints, as he managed to snag 16 touchdowns in two seasons. For a coach who relied on Benjamin Watson when he was pushing 40, Belichick should have no qualms about going after Cook.
Cook is the perfect veteran for the Patriots offense.
Cook might not have the same jaw-dropping speed that he possessed when he was drafted out of South Carolina, but he can still get behind the defense and nestle into holes in zone coverage. Asiasi and Keene looked overwhelmed by the speed of the game at times, and Cook will in no way have that issue.
Plus, he has the postseason experience Belichick craves, the ability to sustain hits over the middle, and enough athletic ability to absolutely destroy any linebackers that get matched up with him in man coverage. If the Patriots don’t want to break the bank this offseason, they could add Cook at a discounted price.