ESPN’s Paul Kuharsky writes that he expects to see the Tennessee Titans use their franchise tag on TE Jared Cook in the coming weeks.
Next year’s franchise tag for tight ends is expected to be $5.96 million, which is a pretty reasonable total, especially when you consider that the Titans could have as much as $19.4 million in cap space to work with.
We have Cook listed as the No. 50 best available player in our Top 50 Free Agents list.
Cook, 25, is coming off of a disappointing season, but has plenty of talent to work with and figures to be one of the best available tight ends on the market. He’s been lukewarm regarding the idea of returning to Tennessee next season and the team’s decision to fire TE coach John Zernhelt doesn’t appear to be sitting well with him.
“I am very surprised at that, very surprised,” said Cook when asked his opinion regarding the decision to fire Zernhelt. “I just don’t understand that move. Point black. Period. I mean, Coach Z was a great run blocking coach and he really explained the run game and he really broke things down to where you could really understand things better….And he was great in the development of all of us. I just don’t get why you would want to let a guy like that go.”
The Titans could use their franchise tag on him to prevent him from hitting the open market. Tight ends seem to be relatively decent values when it comes to the franchise tag, so it’s a realistic possibility. Tennessee is projected to have $19.4 million in cap space (NFL Team Cap Space) available to them, so a long-term agreement is certainly not of the realm of possibilities.