2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Titans' 1st priority? Keeping Jared Cook around

By TERESA M. WALKER - AP Sports Writer
    2013-02-23 16:28

The Tennessee Titans already have signed their first free agent, taking advantage of a salary cap move to add safety George Wilson to their defense.

Before they dive into free agency in March, they face one of their biggest challenges in keeping tight end Jared Cook off the market. Doing that means signing him to a new deal by Friday or tagging him as a franchise player.

``We feel he's a big part of us having success next year is having him in the offense and using him in different ways ... with the changes we made on the offensive side of the ball,'' Titans coach Mike Munchak said. ``We feel can give him an opportunity to catch more balls and be more productive and maybe have him be more efficient with the plays he's in there.''

The Titans have a handful of players heading for free agency including kicker Rob Bironas and defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks. But Munchak, speaking at the NFL combine in Indianapolis, described the 6-foot-5, 248-pound Cook as someone the Titans feel very strongly about keeping.

Munchak is in a must-win mode in his third season after going 6-10 in 2012. He has swapped up his coaching staff, including bringing in Gregg Williams as a senior assistant for defense.

Tennessee started adding players Friday by agreeing to a reported two-year deal Friday with Wilson, released Feb. 11 by Buffalo to avoid his $2.9 million salary. That's the first step in adding more talent and experience to a defense that had too many injuries and too much youth as the Titans allowed a franchise-record 471 points.

Cook is key for an offense where quarterback Jake Locker got hurt in the first game and showed little development in his first season as a starter.

``Jake's done a good job,'' general manager Ruston Webster said. ``He has all the talent to be a fine player. One of the things we have to do is have more consistency around him.''

Team officials wanted to talk with Cook's agent during the NFL combine in Indianapolis. Cook's agent, Christina Phillips, didn't immediately return a message from The Associated Press on Saturday.

Signing Cook to a long-term deal could be challenging before Friday's deadline to use the franchise tag. Cook caught 44 passes for 523 yards and four touchdowns in 2012, ranking him fourth on the team in both catches and yards despite missing three games after tearing his right rotator cuff Dec. 9 in a loss at Indianapolis.

The Titans want to use Cook even more as a receiving threat under new offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, who took over after Munchak fired Chris Palmer on Nov. 26. Cook had not been happy under Palmer, though he carefully watched what he said about the offense.

Even so, Tennessee lined Cook up in the slot and outside preferring to use Craig Stevens or Taylor Thompson more as blocking tight ends. So if the Titans tag him as a tight end, Cook could argue he deserves the higher paying tag of a wide receiver.

Webster said they always have wanted to keep Cook and nothing has changed. Asked if he thought the Titans could sign Cook to a long-term contract or use the franchise tag, Webster said he thinks Cook will be with the Titans this season.

``He's a big part of our offense so how it gets done we'll just have to see,'' Webster said.

If the Titans can reach a deal with Cook by Friday, that might allow them to tag Bironas, whose four-year, $12 million deal signed in 2009 is expiring. Bironas could be cheaper without the tag after missing six of his 31 field goal attempts last season.

Munchak said what they can't control is when players are ready to talk and work out a deal.

``Most players when they get this close to free agency want to test the market,'' Munchak said. ``That's why we fought for it. I was a part of two strikes to get free agency available for these guys. So a lot of times guys want to wait it out and see. It doesn't mean they don't want to be here, and it doesn't mean we don't want them.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Josh MorganApr 22 09:52a

Chicago Bears WR Joshua Morgan is likely to compete for the No. 3 or 4 wide receiver role this year, and he'll compete with WRs Domenik Hixon, Eric Weems [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 09:33a

New York Giants FS Will Hill is facing a year-long suspension after reportedly failing another drug test. He will appeal what would be his third drug-related suspension.

Kyle WilliamsApr 21 09:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed WR Kyle Williams Monday, April 21. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Colt AndersonApr 21 07:12p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent FS Colt Anderson (Eagles) to an undisclosed deal Monday, April 21.

Jamar TaylorApr 21 06:43p

Miami Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor (groin) is healthy following hernia surgery and began offseason workouts with his teammates Monday, April 21. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he expects [ More ]

Dustin KellerApr 21 05:42p

Eugene Parker, agent for free-agent TE Dustin Keller (knee), said Keller is ready to participate in offseason workouts when he signs with a team.

Eric FisherApr 21 05:12p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) said there is no timetable for his return following multiple surgeries, but he doesn't think he'll be out for long. 'He's [ More ]

Josh MorganApr 21 04:02p

The Chicago Bears have signed free-agent WR Joshua Morgan (Redskins) to a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

A.J. GreenApr 21 03:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green said he has added around six pounds this offseason, because he wants to be more physical as a way to beat coverage at the [ More ]

Michael VickApr 21 02:42p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith said he believes he will be the starting quarterback this upcoming season even though the team added QB Michael Vick this offseason. He [ More ]

Navorro BowmanApr 21 02:12p

The San Francisco 49ers plan to place LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) on the Physically Unable to Perform list when training camp begins, because he is not expected to be [ More ]

Eric FisherApr 21 02:02p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) underwent shoulder surgery and had a procedure to fix a sports hernia. He's currently rehabbing in Kansas City.

Tony CarterApr 21 01:22p

The Denver Broncos signed DT Mitch Unrein to his restricted free-agent tender Monday, April 21. CB Tony Carter, SS Duke Ihenacho and LB Brandon M. Marshall all signed their exclusive rights tenders.

Rolando McClainApr 21 01:02p

Baltimore Ravens LB Rolando McClain is retiring from the NFL again Monday, April 21. 'I gotta follow my heart. It ain't football. If football made me complete I would [ More ]

Tony RomoApr 21 12:42p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will take part in the team's voluntary offseason program beginning Monday, April 21, according to a source. Players are allowed to lift weights, [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreApr 20 09:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) is not expected to be restricted in any way when offseason workouts begin.

Michael EgnewApr 20 08:42p

The Miami Dolphins likely will add at least two more tight ends this offseason that will compete with TE Michael Egnew for a roster spot.

Armon BinnsApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Armon Binns is currently the team's No. 4 receiver, but the Dolphins have had discussions about WR Rishard Matthews replacing Binns at the spot, according to a source.

Tyrone CrawfordApr 20 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Tyrone Crawford (Achilles') is expected to be ready for the team's offseason program, and he is expected to be a key piece to the defense this season.

M. Jones-DrewApr 20 12:02a

If healthy, Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden is expected to be the team's starting tailback with RB Maurice Jones-Drew as his backup.

Brian HartlineApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of mini camp, according to a source. He suffered a torn posterior cruciate ligament in the 2013 regular season finale.

Terrelle PryorApr 19 01:02p

The Oakland Raiders will release QB Terrelle Pryor if they are not able to trade him by Monday, April 21.

LaMichael JamesApr 19 12:22p

The Kansas City Chiefs could consider pursuing San Francisco 49ers RB LaMichael James if he could become a slot receiver. The team likely would not have interest in James [ More ]

Matt HasselbeckApr 19 12:22p

Indianapolis Colts QB Matt Hasselbeck plans to retire after the 2014 season.

Asa JacksonApr 19 12:12p

Baltimore Ravens CBs Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson are expected to compete for the No. 3 cornerback job during training camp. If the team takes a cornerback in one [ More ]

Michael FordApr 19 11:32a

The Chicago Bears probably will select a running back in the later rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft to compete with RB Michael Ford for the No. 2 running [ More ]

Jordan PalmerApr 19 09:52a

The Chicago Bears could target a quarterback in the late rounds of the NFL Draft or in free agency to provide competition for backup QB Jordan Palmer.

Cam NewtonApr 19 09:32a

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (ankle) remains in a walking boot about a month after ankle surgery. The team is hopeful Newton will be ready to go for training camp.

Michael RobinsonApr 19 12:02a

The Seattle Seahawks have not tried to re-sign free-agent FB Michael Robinson this offseason.

Russell AllenApr 18 11:42p

The Jacksonville Jaguars released LB Russell Allen (concussion) after he failed a physical.

Kendrick LewisApr 18 08:32p

Houston Texans FS Kendrick Lewis and SS Chris D. Clemons are expected to compete for the starting free safety job during training camp.

Trent RichardsonApr 18 08:22p

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said it will be important for RB Trent Richardson to participate in all of the offseason workouts so he can get more comfortable [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group