Panthers Named Possible Destination For TE Jared Cook

Jared Cook, Panthers
NFL Analysis Network

The Carolina Panthers are hoping that they can turn things around in the 2022 season. They will have another starting quarterback from the 2018 NFL Draft class as the Sam Darnold experiment didn’t go according to plan. Now, they will have Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick from that year, under center.

He was unable to exact revenge against his old team, the Cleveland Browns, in Week 1 as the Browns walked the Panthers off with a field goal at the buzzer. It was a heartbreaking way to start his tenure in Carolina, but Mayfield did have some positives to take away from the game.

He and Robbie Anderson got off to a hot start, connecting on a 75-yard touchdown pass as Anderson finished with five receptions for 102 yards and that score. Running back Christian McCaffrey made it through the game unscathed as well and should get involved more as the season wears on after receiving only 14 touches, with his longest play going down in the stat sheet as a fumble recovery.

One thing that Mayfield carried over from his time with the Browns is that he can make plays when targeting the tight end. Ian Thomas caught two passes for 53 yards, but that position is one the team could look to upgrade.

If Carolina wants to add more experience to the tight end spot, one player that was suggested for them as a free agent target was Jared Cook. Cook showed that even at his age, as he is now 35, he can still get the job done as he was a productive player last season for the Los Angeles Chargers.

Cook caught 48 passes for 564 yards and four touchdowns as Justin Herbert was slinging the ball around the field. He was a complementary player behind Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler and could play a similar role with the Panthers behind Anderson, D.J. Moore and McCaffrey.

On the hot seat, Matt Rhule should be doing all that he can to upgrade the roster. Cook is someone that can still make some plays and would help elevate this offense to another level with Thomas settling in as a complement to Cook at the tight end spot.