Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean reports that there’s no expectation of significant progress on a long-term contract for Titans tight end Jared Cook before the March 4 deadline to use the franchise tag.
The Titans were already expected to use the tag on Cook and that report lends pretty strong credence to the notion that Cook will be fitted for a tag sometime very soon. The question may be what kind of tag he’ll be wearing.
Wyatt reports, via sources familiar with the situation, that Cook sees himself as more of a wide receiver than a tight end. That would be an important distinction since wide receivers make almost $5 million more under the franchise tag than tight ends. The CBA states that the tender will “apply to the position in which the player participated in the most plays,” a definition complicated in this case by the fact that Cook lined up in the slot and out wide more than half the time.
“I don’t anticipate it. (Jared’s) been a tight end for us,” General Manager Ruston Webster said when asked about the possibility of a fight over classification.
Cook’s camp couldn’t be reached for comment on an issue that we saw last offseason as well. Jermichael Finley and the Packers were headed to a possible showdown over his position before Finley landed a multiyear deal that landed between the two franchise numbers. That’s a path forward for the Titans and Cook, although it doesn’t sound like there’s too much optimism about avoiding some kind of tag at the moment.