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Jared Cook has a strong case for receiver designation

JaredCook Getty Images

Titans G.M. Ruston Webster thinks that, if push comes to shove as to the designation of tight end Jared Cook for franchise-tag purposes, Cook will be regarded as a tight end.

The facts suggest otherwise.

As recently explained by Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, the operative language of the labor deal favors Cook.   “[T]he tender will apply to the position in which the player participated in the most plays,” declares Article 9, Section 2 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Per Wyatt (via Pro Football Focus), Cook lined up in the slot 56 percent of the time in 2012.

It’s the same argument Jermichael Finley advanced in 2012, after the Packers applied to tag to him as a tight end.  The case was never resolved because the two sides worked out a two-year contract.

Eventually, an arbitrator will be forced to apply the plain language of Article 9, Section 2 to the question of whether a tight end who lines up in the slot more than half the time is still a tight end.  But as more and more tight ends line up in the slot on a regular basis, some team eventually will dig in its heels and argue that lining up in the slot is part of the position.

Indeed, the franchise tender for tight ends is determined at least in part based on the salaries of players who take more snaps in the slot than as true “tight” ends.  With each passing year, that argument will become stronger.

The sooner a player forces the issue, the sooner the issue can be resolved in a way that benefits the tight ends who are being used not as tight ends but as wide receivers.  With more tight ends being paid as tight ends but playing like receivers, it could at some point become harder to win what otherwise should be an easy fight.

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10 Responses to “Jared Cook has a strong case for receiver designation”
  1. ibreathefootball says: Feb 24, 2013 5:03 PM

    Well now, if he’s a true WR, then his fantasy value just went down!

  2. tyler4richardson says: Feb 24, 2013 5:04 PM

    Tight Ends have to block. I’d switch if I could too.

  3. dietrich43 says: Feb 24, 2013 5:10 PM

    So he wants to be paid as the 3rd wr instead of 1st string te?

  4. titans12thman says: Feb 24, 2013 5:11 PM

    Hope it works out, he is one of the best players we have on either side of the ball.

  5. xmiksticky says: Feb 24, 2013 5:20 PM

    Titans should argue they would like to keep him in as a TE he sucks at blocking so bad they have no choice but to split him out. He also he drops more balls than a class of 5th graders going through puberty as a Titans fan if he gets his way I’d let him go he’s too much of a baby for me

  6. transam7816 says: Feb 24, 2013 5:49 PM

    He’s not worth it if they franchise him as a WR. Cut him and draft the many talented TE’s in this years draft.

  7. micknangold says: Feb 24, 2013 7:32 PM

    He’s probably pressing to be tagged as a WR so the Titans don’t tag him.

  8. flipola says: Feb 25, 2013 1:30 AM

    They don’t utilize him to his full potential. I don’t want to lose him, but if he wants WR money, let him walk. Use that money for o-line and defense. Craig Stevens has stepped up his receiving, anyway.

  9. kluuuuuuuuug says: Feb 25, 2013 9:32 AM

    Has he ever sat in a WR meeting, once? Is he listed as a WR or even TE/WR on the depth chart? Just because he’s split out doesn’t automatically qualify the “position” as a WR. They could have easily done the same with any other TE.

  10. taylormade311 says: Feb 25, 2013 3:38 PM

    This pisses me off now you want to be a wide-out to make more money. You came in as a tight end and never complained. Why don’t you produce like a wide-out.

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