With Gronk’s status still up in the air and Dwayne Allen gone, the Patriots need to make other plans at tight end. And they apparently are.
Cook, 31, is actually older than Gronkowski, and Cook entered the league a year before Gronk. Cook’s best season ever came in 2018, when he caught 68 passes for 896 yards and six touchdowns for a Raiders offense that didn’t have a whole lot around him.
Gronkowski caught 47 passes for 682 yards and three touchdowns in 2018, his worst season featuring more than eight games played since his rookie year. But he came on strong in the postseason, helping the Patriots to another Super Bowl win.
Although the Patriots typically like to have two quality pass-catching tight ends if they can, the decision to pursue Cook before getting a decision on retirement from Gronk raises an important question regarding Gronk’s future: Do the Patriots still want him? Given what he can do if healthy in the postseason, they should. Given his production in the regular season, he could be moving toward the territory in which coach Bill Belichick has a reputation for moving on one year too early instead of one year too late.
And it still may not be too late to get Cook. Despite multiple reports that a deal is close and comments from Cook talking about catching passes from Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Cook still hasn’t officially signed with the Saints. Until he does, Cook remains potentially in play.