The Tennessee Titans have decided against franchising tight end Jared Cook.
The main reason apparently for that decision was that Cook’s representatives would have filed a grievance to have him tagged as a wide receiver.
The tight end tender is $6.07 million for a tight end, but $10.54 million for a wide receiver and apparently the Titans chose not to take on that battle with free agency looming.
Cook lined up in the slot on about 57 percent of the plays he was on the field last year, and according to section II, article 9 of the collective bargaining agreement, he had a case for being tagged as a wide receiver.
Cook, who had 44 receptions a year ago before undergoing shoulder surgery and missing the final three games, will now likely head to the open market unless the Titans can regroup and sign him to a long-term deal between now and March 12 when the free agency period opens.
Cook, a third-round pick in 2009, has teased and tantalized by flashing big-play abilities at times, but the Titans coaching staff at times were not pleased with his blocking and route-running.
However, on the open market, Cook has the type of talent that some team that uses tight ends in a more pass-oriented down-the-field offense will benefit from.
The Titans are not out of the running to keep Cook, but the deal just got a whole lot more difficult by not applying the franchise tag to assure themselves of retaining him.
By not tagging anyone, the Titans are also allowing kicker Rob Bironas and defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks to test the market as well.