Patriots

NFL rumors: Jared Cook still an option for Patriots in free agency?

NFL rumors: Jared Cook still an option for Patriots in free agency?

UPDATE: NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Jared Cook's deal with the New Orleans Saints is not yet signed, potentially leaving room for the New England Patriots to swoop in and steal him away following Rob Gronkowski's retirement. 

--End of Update--

The New England Patriots weren't able to sign veteran tight end Jared Cook in NFL free agency, but it wasn't for a lack of trying.

ESPN's Mike Reiss reported Sunday that the Patriots went hard after Cook before he reportedly decided to join the New Orleans Saints.

3. Similar to how the Patriots made an aggressive pitch to receiver Adam Humphries in free agency and didn't close the deal, a source close to tight end Jared Cook said the Patriots aggressively courted him before Cook elected to sign with the Saints late last week. Rob Gronkowski's uncertain status seems to have played a significant part in Cook's thinking, as there is clearer path to a top role on the tight-end depth chart in New Orleans.

Cook tallied 68 receptions for 896 yards and six touchdowns for the Oakland Raiders last season. He also was selected to the Pro Bowl. 

His decision not to sign with New England leaves the tight end market pretty barren. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is the only notable tight end still unsigned in free agency.

The Patriots released veteran tight end Dwayne Allen before the free-agent market opened and haven't yet signed a tight end in free agency. Rob Gronkowski's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, recently said he doesn't know what decision his client will make regarding his future. Reports throughout the 2018 season suggested Gronkowski would consider retirement

At this point, the Patriots would probably be best suited to draft a tight end early in the 2019 NFL Draft. Luckily for the Pats, they have six picks in the first three rounds and there are a few highly rated tight ends in this draft class.

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Gallery: New England Patriots offseason arrivals and departures

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USA Today Sports

Gallery: New England Patriots offseason arrivals and departures

Every summer, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots are tasked with building a roster around Tom Brady that can compete for a Super Bowl. This summer is no different for the defending champions. 

They've lost key pieces, like superstar tight end Rob Gronkowski, who retired after nine seasons in New England. They've reunited with some familiar facesn like Ben Watson, Michael Bennett and Jamie Collins. They've added wide receivers old (Demaryius Thomas) and wide receivers new (Dontrelle Inman). 

They've made trades, signed free agents, and taken some flyers. Some will pan out, but many won't. 

Check out this guide on who's left the team, and how the Pats have replaced them. 

Odell Beckham Jr. cites Tom Brady as example of racial double standard

Odell Beckham Jr. cites Tom Brady as example of racial double standard

Odell Beckham Jr. and Tom Brady are two of the NFL's most competitive players, but Beckham sees a double standard in how that competitiveness is perceived.

In an interview with GQ Magazine, Beckham used Brady as an example of what he believes is a racial double standard in the sport. The Browns wide receiver points out while he often faces criticism for wearing his emotions on his sleeve, Brady is praised for doing the same thing.

“Race plays into everything, whether we want to believe it or not," Beckham told GQ. "I remember posting a video of me and Tom Brady, and I hate to even bring him in this, but he’s passionate. He cares—he wouldn’t still be playing if he didn’t care for the game the way that he did today. He throws a cup, he yells at referees, he yells at his coach. It’s because he cares that bad. He wants to win that bad. Now, because he has won six Super Bowls they validate him and say, 'He’s won six Super Bowls.' I want to win the same way he wants to win. Whether I hit a kicking net or whether I do whatever. I want to win that bad. I care about winning more than anything. I didn’t get into this to celebrate and score touchdowns. I didn’t get into this for followers for Instagram. It’s, like, you’ve built a monster, but now you’re upset at the one you built. Why are you mad at me? While I’m playing football, I’m not holding a camera on myself. Everything is about what you show the world. I get my free time 16 times a year, hopefully, plus a few games when we make the playoffs. I get 16 times to do this. There are 365 days in a year. You’re controlling my freedom. This is my joy, this is my time.”

Beckham doesn't hold back when asked about the racial double standard, nor has he held back discussing his rocky tenure with the Giants. The 26-year-old also mentioned in the GQ interview he mulled retirement during his time with New York.

Now with Cleveland, Beckham has a clean slate and a real chance to make a run at the playoffs in 2019. You can bet his passion will remain the same, regardless of the double standard that may exist.

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