Over the past few days, the name Jared Cook has been lighting up the interwebz as the biggest free agent tight end available. At 6'5 248 lbs Cook takes his large stature and blends it with 4.5 speed. A WR in a tight end body, Cook provides matchup problems against anyone who lines up against him. But drafted in 2009, Cook has not shown much to warrant such a large amount of money.
In the 2012, Cook posted 44 receptions for 523 yards and 4 TDs. Great numbers for a tight end, but not so much for a receiver which is what cook is wanting to be classified as. While statistically he was good, numbers only paint part of the picture. Cook was far from our most reliable tight end last season. His drops happened too often and his ineffectiveness at blocking was the primary reason he was split out wide so many times. Cook simply did not provide Jake with the safety net a young quarterback needs. If the Titans are so hell bent with retaining his skill set, may I provide another option?
Tennessee, let me introduce you to 26 year old Martellus Bennett. The 61st overall pick in the 2008 pick by the Dallas Cowboys. After spending 4 years with the Cowboys and only catching 4 touchdowns, he was picked up by the New York Giants where he broke out for a career high 5 touchdowns on 55 receptions with 626 yards. He finally displayed the ability expected of him after being drafted in the second round.
Bennett does not come without baggage. He was kicked out of Dallas after numerous reports of his attitude getting in the way of his growth( we definitely heard that before) and he also lacked work ethic. While the were definitely present, he went through the 2012 season seemingly avoiding locker room issues.
Bennett and Cooks measurables are fairly similar with bennett standing at 6-6 265lbs while also running a 4.68 40. Those definitely aren't numbers to scoff at. While Cook best bennett in speed, Bennett is worlds better at blocking. In the 2008 draft, Bennett was considered the best "all around" tight end available. An all around tight end is what this team needs and Bennett should be available for a cheaper price than Cook.
If I'm the Titans, i would push hard for Michael Bennett. His brother Martellus has made it known that he wishes to play on the same team as his brother, and with tight end and defensive end a position of need, why not bring the brothers to Nashville in hope of putting the team in position to make some noise come September. With NFL Free agency beginning in a few hours (it's currently 11:00pm here in Phx, AZ), here's to hoping the Titans are as aggressive as they are expected to be.