Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE
Despite reports to the contrary, there is basically no chance that Jared Cook is back in the two-toned blue next season.
I have no sources (/whispers sources like Brick on The Middle), but there is no shot that Jared Cook is a member of the Tennessee Titans in 2013 contrary to the report on the NFL ATR site tonight that the team will fight to keep him.
I know the Titans said at the combine that they were not going to lose him, but that is when they thought that the worst case scenario was they would franchise him at the tight end number. They have thought they had that in their back pocket for a while now. Everything changed with the news that he was going to challenge the designation.
The guys on 3HL here in Nashville were ripping the front office for not getting something for Cook, saying they should have seen the challenge of wide receiver coming, but I don't really think that is fair. What else could the Titans have done? Sure, the could have tried to trade him, but getting a trade done isn't any easy thing in the NFL, and what could they realistically get for him? Just today I have highlighted two guys, Martellus Bennett and Fred Davis, that have almost identical stories to Cook. Their teams aren't getting anything for them because the market is saturated with those guys.
Back to the NFL ATR article, the fact that the Titans are moving to a shorter passing game is actually a reason to let Cook go. As Josh Gunnels from Titan Sized wrote about here, Cook's strength was never getting open on the shorter routes. The only time he has been dynamic is when he has been able to get down the field.
The Titans made the decision yesterday that Cook wasn't worth even possibly spending $10 million on this season. There is no reason to believe a long-term deal is in the works.