The Green Bay Packers appeared prepared to sign tight end Jared Cook before hitting a snag in negotiations within the first 24 hours of the 2017 free agency period. Conflicting reports have come out regarding the annual value of the contract that the two sides neared.
Initial reports suggested that the contract was greater in value than the 3-year, $21 million contract that the Packers gave Martellus Bennett a few hours after talks with Cook broke down. However, a later report filed by Pro Football Talk said that Cook’s contract was actually in the $6 million per year range (this report is solidified somewhat, as the source clarified the exact value of Bennett’s deal).
Regardless of which of those two reports is accurate, it appears that Cook lost some money after leaving Green Bay without a contract. According to Bob McGinn, Cook’s two-year contract with the Oakland Raiders is worth $10.6 million, just under that $6 million per year number. That contract comes with $5 million guaranteed, including Cook’s 2017 base salary of $2.5 million. He does have a chance to make up that difference, however, as McGinn indicates that the deal also includes $800,000 each year in incentives.
Still, it appears that the Packers got the better end of the deal. They got a better player overall (by some scouts’ estimation in addition to ours) for roughly equivalent money. They also avoided paying more than the market rate for Cook, who eventually still ended up in a favorable situation. Oakland appears to be a team on the rise, with a talented quarterback and receivers, and Cook will likely be a solid addition to that offense.