Saints reportedly set to sign former Raiders tight end who’s coming off career year

The Saints had one of the best offenses in the NFL last season and it looks like the unit might be even better in 2019 thanks to the potential addition of Jared Cook

According to Pro Football Talk, the Saints are close to a deal with the former Raiders tight end. 

The addition of Cook would be a huge boon for a Saints offense that has struggled to find a productive tight end since trading away Jimmy Graham before the 2015 season. Also, the addition of Cook was especially needed after Benjamin Watson announced in late December that he would be retiring, which left a gaping hole on the Saints' depth chart. 

In Cook, the Saints are getting a tight end who will likely become one of Drew Brees' top targets in New Orleans. Brees spent most of the 2018 season throwing to Michael Thomas, but that's mostly because he didn't really have any other targets. Besides Thomas, no other Saints receiver or tight end finished the year with more than 450 yards receiving. Running back Alvin Kamara, who caught 81 passes for 709 yards, actually ended finished as the second leading receiver on the team. 

The 31-year-old Cook, who turns 32 on April 7, is coming off the best season of his career, which is saying a lot, because he's been in the NFL for 10 years. With the Raiders last year, Cook caught 68 passes for 896 yards and six touchdowns, which were all career highs. If Cook is even half that productive in New Orleans, this will be looked back on as a smart signing for the Saints.

Cook's numbers were so good in 2018 that he ended up earning the first Pro Bowl nod of his career. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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