Him & Wallace im gonna throw a party!! Im a huge Cook fan!! DO WORK PHINS!!!
By Omar Kelly, Staff writer
8:30 p.m. EDT, March 10, 2013
Receiver isn't the only offensive position the Miami Dolphins are working feverishly to upgrade.
The Dolphins have been talking to representatives for the NFL's top-tier free-agent tight ends and have put a couple feelers out before Tuesday's signings begin.
A source told the Sun Sentinel tight end Jared Cook is high on Miami's list of possible "tier one" free-agent targets. Cook, a 6-foot-5, 246-pounder who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds, is the type of weapon that commands the attention of defenses.
Cook, a third-round pick whom the Dolphins liked in the 2009 draft, had his breakout season in 2011, catching 49 catches for 759 yards and three touchdowns.
Cook's numbers fell off to 44 receptions for 523 yards in 2012, but he did score four touchdowns during his 485 snaps.
Cook isn't a traditional tight end considering he spent most of his tenure in Tennessee slipped out like a receiver. Blocking has also been an issue during his NFL career, but the Dolphins haven't ruled out re-signing Anthony Fasano, who is considered one of the NFL's better blockers.
Miami does have a few options at tight end, either through free agency or the 2013 draft. Giants tight end Martellus Bennett, the New York Jets' Dustin Keller, Oakland's Brandon Myers, San Francisco's Delanie Walker and Cook are the top unrestricted free-agent tight ends. Bennett is the best all-purpose tight end in the bunch. The others are pass-catching specialists.
Tight ends are en vogue in today's NFL, which means the top free agents will be in demand considering Miami, Cleveland, St. Louis and Chicago are looking for upgrades at the position, and the Falcons, Giants, Raiders, Titans and the Jets would need to fill voids if one of their tight ends depart.
Seven tight ends — Dallas' Jason Witten, San Francisco's Vernon Davis, Green Bay's Jermichael Finley, New England's Rob Gronkowski, Jacksonville's Marcedes Lewis, Seattle's Zach Miller and San Diego's Antonio Gates — have contracts that exceed $6 million a season. That appears to be the bar for this year's free agents.
The Dolphins need to upgrade the position because Fasano, who caught 177 passes and scored 23 touchdowns during his five-year tenure as the Dolphins' starter, struggled to gain separation from linebackers the past season.
Charles Clay, a sixth-round pick in 2011, has been inconsistent in his first two seasons, and struggles as a blocker. Michael Egnew, a third-round pick in the 2012 draft, struggled in his rookie season and must address concerns about his toughness moving forward.
If the Dolphins decide against adding a free agent, they could wait until April's draft to address the position because five tight end prospects — Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert, Stanford's Zach Ertz, Florida's Jordan Reed, San Diego State's Gavin Escobar and Cincinnati's Travis Kelce — will likely get selected early in the first three rounds.
The Titans considered placing the franchise tag on Cook but decided against it. However, Tennessee is reportedly still working to re-sign Cook.
"Cook is definitely someone that we feel very strongly about. We feel he's a big part of us having success next year," Titans coach Mike Munchak said at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Considering the Dolphins have a little over $30 million in cap space to spend on free agents and draftees this offseason, it is doubtful that whatever Miami does at tight end will impact how they address other positions. http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/miam ... 3560.story