Oakland Raiders: 5 pending free agents who should be re-signed

Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images
Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images /
6 of 6
Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images
Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images /

1. TE Jared Cook (UFA)

One of the surprise stars of the 2018 season, Jared Cook didn’t hesitate to take over when the Raiders struggled to find a top option in the passing game. By the time the season had come to a close, the veteran tight end had asserted himself as Derek Carr‘s go-to target.

It wasn’t just his reliability that made him a star in 2018, though. In fact, it was his ability to make big catches and come up with chunk yards in the clutch. Time and time again, Cook made the highlight reel with jaw-dropping grabs that often kept the Raiders in the game. Just watch this one if you’re not sure what I’m talking about.

Cook finished the season with career highs in receptions (68), receiving yards (896) and receiving touchdowns (6). It was a monstrous season from the aging tight end that many assumed was past his years of being an effective receiving threat. In the end, it appears Cook has aged like fine wine.

The only concern with retaining Cook is his price tag, which may see a steep increase coming off a career year. However, if his asking price remains reasonable, you better believe Gruden will do everything in his power to keep the 32-year-old tight end in town for at least another year or two.

Next. Big-name free agents Raiders should target. dark

Better to maintain some semblance of consistency for Carr than to tear his whole receiving corps down and build from the ground up, right?