Jared Cook or nah? That’s the question the Raiders will need to answer themselves ASAP because the free agency pool is drying up.
In an era where Tyler Kroft, C.J. Uzomah, Jesse James, Dwayne Allen and Maxx Williams are getting cash, it would not surprise me to see Cook get more money than the Raiders can afford. All the TEs got money more on their potential and age rather than their past production. Any of those tight ends would’ve fit in Oakland but it clearly wasn’t that simple. Of course, this draft class has a few tight ends that may make sense for Oakland.
Either way, the Raiders would be smart to add a veteran tight end. Should they consider Tyler Eifert of another tight end when free agency officially opens?
Eifert only played in 14 games over the past three seasons. He’s only played more than eight games three times since entering the league in 2013. However, Eifert flashes greatness when he’s on the field. In 2015, Eifert finished with 615 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. The next year it was 394 receiving and five touchdowns in half a season.
The 28-year-old finished last year with a touchdown and 179 receiving yards in four games. At six-foot-six he’s an ideal redzone threat as well as blocker. Eifert’s experience in Cinci would also translate to the Raiders since they run an offense not too far removed from the Grudens.
In the end, Eifert makes sense if he is willing to take a discount or a one-year deal. Eifert could thrive with Derek Carr and Antonio Brown around him. Oakland would still need to draft a tight end as insurance for Eifert’s injuries but Eifert would be a welcomed addition for the Silver and Black.
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Speaking of offenses not too different from the Raiders, the Chiefs also employ a version of the West Coast scheme. That means Harris will fit with the Silver and Black too.
Of course, the 27-year-old has been buried as the blocking tight end behind Travis Kelce. Either way, he has the size and athleticism to start in the league given an opportunity. He has 57 receptions, 605 receiving yards and six touchdowns in his five-year career. Las year was his best year with three touchdowns.
That might be enough for a team to pay him some big money, especially given that many backup tight ends already received big contracts. In the end, the Raiders should consider Harris because he’d also bring some intel on the Chiefs. Making a division rival worse is always great!
Over the past few times he hit the open market, Gresham is rumored to the Raiders. Of course, this is a different regime. Not to mention, Gresham is off his worst season as pro. Last year, he finished with 9 receptions and 94 receiving yards. For his career, Gresham accumulated 377 receptions and 3,752 yards.
The 30-year-old tight end could be a bargain for the Raiders since he is coming off a down season. He’s athletic and become a solid blocker in recent years. However, is Gresham an upgrade over anything they have on the roster or can get in the draft?
In the end, there’s a reason a lot of these tight ends with limited production and starting rolls are getting big contracts. Thus, the Raiders need to explore why these tight ends are still on the market. They might honestly do better by re-signing the 32-year-old Jared Cook who is the best player on the market at the position. Cook finished with 896 receiving yards and six touchdowns last year and developed some chemistry with Derek Carr. Oakland should let that playout another year or draft a young tight end given the market.
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