Starter: Lee Smith
Backups: Derek Carrier, Darren Waller, Paul Butler
Free agent: Jared Cook
It was a Pro Bowl season for Jared Cook. The first of his career at the age of 31. This was his second straight season leading the Raiders in receiving and he hit career highs in catches (68), receiving yards (896), and touchdowns (6). Jon Gruden likes tight ends, and Cook thrived.
You need more evidence Gruden likes tight ends, Lee Smith and Jared Cook both started every game which means the Raiders lined up in two-tight end sets to lead out every game. Smith may not catch a lot of passes, but he is a beast as a blocker. He has also already received his roster bonus for next season, so he has the vote of confidence from the Raiders that he will once again be a big part of the team’s plans.
Carrier was one of the first free agent signings last offseason, but never really stepped up as a great alternative receiving weapon at tight end. This prompted the Raiders to snag Darren Waller off the Ravens’ practice squad. He had at least one catch in each of the Raiders’ final three games for a total of six catches for 75 yards. Waller looks like he could be a find.
This position is unstable because of the unncertain free agent status of Jared Cook. Re-signing him should be a top priority, but we’re in mid-February now and he’s still not re-signed. Should they re-sign him, the tight end position will be in good hands. If they don’t, there will be another major hole to fill among many.
What do you think the is the condition of the Raiders tight end position?
This poll is closed