BOSTON (CBS) — With NFL free agency officially underway, the Patriots are reportedly looking into signing a veteran tight end.
Ian Rapoport seemed to indicated Wednesday on NFL Network that the Patriots have at least made a phone call or two about Jared Cook, the veteran tight end who most recently played for the Raiders.READ MORE: Kyle Van Noy Hosts Christmas Party For Foster Children In Need
Rapoport mentioned the Patriots as a contender to sign Cook, as part of a larger conversation about Rob Gronkowski’s playing status for 2019. That’s been a major topic for more than a month now, but it’s been thrown into overdrive after Willie McGinest suggested Gronkowski may essentially skip half the season in 2019 before re-joining the Patriots.READ MORE: 'Get Vaccinated And Get Boosted': Gov. Baker Pushes COVID Shots In Brockton
Rapoport, though, said the Patriots are “at least tentatively planning” on Gronkowski playing in 2019. The way Rapoport put it, the Patriots believe there’s a better chance of Gronkowski returning instead of retiring.
As for Cook, the 31-year-old is coming off a season with Oakland where he set a new career high with six touchdowns. Overall he caught 68 passes for 896 yards. In his 10-year career with the Titans, Rams, Packers and Raiders, he has caught 425 passes for 5,464 yards and 25 touchdowns.MORE NEWS: Car Involved In Holbrook Crash Was Stolen From Amazon Driver, Police Say
Rapoport didn’t necessarily expound upon the Patriots’ interest in Cook, just noting, “I know [the Patriots have] been kind of in the tight end market a little bit over the course of the past couple of days.”