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Packers 2016 roster preview: managing expectations for Jared Cook

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The Packers already have seven receivers returning from last season. Can Davis or anyone else earn a roster spot?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As Acme Packing Company continues its look at the Green Bay Packers' 90-man roster, we move from examining the returning tight ends to the one that joined the team in the offseason.

The Packers have still not found their long-term replacement for the retired Jermichael Finley. That player may still not reside on the roster, though the team may have finally located a reasonable short-term solution.

Jared Cook, No. 89

H/W: 6-foot-5, 254 pounds
School: South Carolina
2015 stats: 39 catches, 481 yards

Though few teams would have considered Jared Cook a significant addition, he qualifies as a certified "splash" by Green Bay standards. Cook offers much of the appeal Finley provided before his career-ending neck injury: athleticism, yards-after-the-catch playmaking and the ability to stretch the field.

At the same time, Cook's red flags mirror Finley's as well. He has dropped a lot of passes over the past few seasons, and even with the superior quarterback play of Aaron Rodgers, that trend probably continues in 2016.

The Packers understand all of this, and they still decided to bring Cook into the fold. Why? The offense could benefit greatly from another field-stretching pass catcher to attack teams over the middle and downfield. Cook may make as many plays as he bungles, but defenses cannot simply ignore him the way they have with most of Green Bay's tight ends since Finley. Cook's presence should at least take pressure off of the newly healthy Jordy Nelson and the rest of the team's receiving corps.