Chargers to sign tight end Jared Cook as Hunter Henry's replacement

·2 min read
New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook (87) catches a pass for a touchdown as Atlanta Falcons defensive back Darqueze Dennard (34) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook catches a pass for a touchdown in front of Atlanta Falcons defensive back Darqueze Dennard. Cook has agreed to terms to join the Chargers. (Danny Karnik / Associated Press)

The Chargers found a replacement for tight end Hunter Henry by agreeing to terms with Jared Cook on Thursday.

The deal guarantees the veteran $4.5 million and could be worth up to $6 million with incentives, a person familiar with the details confirmed.

Henry spent the first five seasons of his career with the Chargers before agreeing this week to a three-year contract with New England.

Cook, who turns 34 in April, played the last two seasons in New Orleans, where Joe Lombardi was an offensive assistant. Lombardi is the Chargers’ new offensive coordinator.

Cook, who is entering his 13th season, finished 2020 with 37 receptions for 504 yards and seven touchdowns. He has caught 16 touchdown passes the last two seasons.

He offers the Chargers a dependable target — although maybe less productive compared to Henry — for 2021. They could look for a more long-term solution at tight end in the draft, considering they have four picks in the top 100.

Cook also has played for Tennessee, the Rams, Green Bay and Oakland. He made the Pro Bowl in 2018 and 2019.

His best statistical season came in the AFC West, with the Raiders two years ago. Cook finished that season with 68 receptions for 896 yards and six scores.

At 6-foot-5, 254 pounds, Cook still runs well and figures to be a viable threat for quarterback Justin Herbert.

Six of Cook’s seven touchdowns last season came on plays inside the red zone. The one that didn’t — a 41-yard connection with Drew Brees — happened against the Chargers in Week 5.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.