The Seahawks will bring in tight end Jared Cook for a free-agent visit, according to a report on Monday from the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Cook, who turns 30 in April, caught 30 passes for 377 yards and a touchdown in 10 games last season with the Packers. Green Bay was reportedly in talks with Cook about a new contract but instead signed Martellus Bennett for a reported $21 million over three years.
That Seattle is looking at adding a tight end isn’t all that surprising. Backup Luke Willson is testing the market as an unrestricted free agent and there’s a good chance he signs elsewhere. That the Seahawks have their eyes on Cook specifically is interest considering what it could cost to sign him and what Seattle is already scheduled to pay starter Jimmy Graham.
Cook made $2.75 million last season on a one-year deal, which is not all that steep. But two ESPN reports stated that the Packers were prepared to pay Cook more than what they gave Bennett, though that was contradicted by a Pro Football Talk report.
Graham is set to make $10 million from Seattle in 2017, the final year of his contract. Of that $10 million, $2 million is a roster bonus that Graham was owed this past Saturday, according to Spotrac.com. Teams generally don’t move on from players after paying them bonuses, and, for what it’s worth, general manager John Schneider said recently there’s no reason to believe Graham is going anywhere this season.
It would not seem likely then that the Seahawks are looking at Cook as a cheaper alternative to Graham for 2017. More likely: Seattle is looking at Cook with an eye toward 2018 and/or Seattle is playing the leverage game with Willson as weighs whatever off he’s gotten from the Seahawks against others.
The Seahawks have $17.5 million of cap space remaining, according to John Clayton.
Brandon Williams, who was Seattle’s No. 3 tight end behind Graham and Willson last season, is an unrestricted free agent. Seattle also has Nick Vannett, a third-round pick last year who played sparingly as a rookie.
Cook was a third-round pick in 2009 by Tennessee, where he spent his first four seasons. He was linked to Seattle when he became a free agent in 2013 but signed a five-year deal with the Rams worth a little more than $35 million. He was released after the 2015 season then signed with Green Bay.