The New England Patriots won’t be able to lure Jared Cook away from the New Orleans Saints to replace the newly retired Rob Gronkowski, according to a report Monday morning.
Peter King of NBC Sports reported in his Football Morning in America column that Cook, the top tight end available in NFL free agency, “will not reconsider his decision” to sign with the Saints.
According to separate reports, the Patriots “aggressively” pursued Cook last week but were turned down because the soon-to-be 32-year-old was unsure of what his role would be in New England’s offense. With Gronkowski now gone, Cook — or, really, any proven veteran tight end — immediately would vault to the top of the Patriots depth chart, but that evidently was not enough to change Cook’s mind.
The four tight ends currently under contract with the Patriots (Jacob Hollister, Stephen Anderson, Ryan Izzo and newcomer Matt LaCosse) have combined for just 71 career receptions and three touchdowns. The situation at wide receiver isn’t much better for New England, which boasts only Phillip Dorsett, Braxton Berrios, Bruce Ellington, Maurice Harris, Damoun Patterson and special teamer Matthew Slater behind Super Bowl LIII MVP Julian Edelman.
Gronkowski’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told King he wouldn’t be shocked if the star tight end returned at some point during the 2019 season, but for now, the Patriots are left with an extreme lack of skill-position talent.
Thumbnail photo via Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports Images
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