The Tennessee Titans want to keep Jared Cook around, or so it seems.
Cook, who can become an unrestricted free agent in March, is a player the Titans now appear hopeful of retaining, with the franchise tag being a possibility.
The franchise tag for a tight end is tentatively set at $5.96 million for 2013. Thus far, the Titans have not had any meaningful discussions about an extension, but there appears to have at least been some contact.
In recent weeks and months, the Titans have made some moves that could benefit Cook if he stays around in Tennessee.
First off, Dowell Loggains offensive system is expected to be much more tight end friendly and geared toward Cook’s skills than Chris Palmer’s system was.
Too often this past season, Cook, who had 44 receptions before missing the final three games with a shoulder injury, seemed to be an unused option in the Titans passing game plans. Loggains is expected to make Cook more of an option in the offense in Tennessee, provided the tight end is still a Titan, of course.
The other move that signals the Titans still have plans for Cook is the change at tight ends coach. John Zernhelt’s background was as an offensive line coach, and one of the things he stressed to the tight ends was blocking and being effective in that.
George Henshaw, who returns to the Titans staff after being before from 1997-2005, should have more of an influence on the passing game for the Titans. Remember, when Henshaw was the tight ends coach in his first tenure in Tennessee, Frank Wycheck led the team in receptions five seasons in a row.
The other factor for Cook is that he wants to see progress and that the Titans are close to winning. In an interview with TitanInsider at season’s end, Cook said he felt the Titans had not progressed this year offensively.
“For me, it's how the offense has struggled all year. We've shown no signs of getting better at all to me,” Cook said at the time. “I feel like it's another year and another year to be out. I just don't want it to be a year wasted, because that's another year that not only me, but everybody else, is getting older, and you know the timetable of playing football. Your time is limited in this league and you've got to strike while it's hot. Sometimes I just wonder about the progression.”
This week in Mobile, Ala., at the Senior Bowl, a source said that the Titans are making efforts to try and keep the tight end, but that playing on a winner is a priority as well.
Former Tennessee Titans safety Lance Schulters was in Mobile, Ala., this week at the Senior Bowl, hoping to get started on a coaching career.
Schulters spent some time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2011 on their staff as a minority coaching intern and did the same thing with the Seattle Seahawks in 2010.
Schulters spoke to Titans coach Mike Munchak this week in Mobile, and is hopeful of talking to Munchak next week in Nashville as he attempts to break into the coaching ranks in some capacity.