The NFL’s trade deadline came and went Thursday afternoon, and Jared Cook went nowhere.
The Tennessee Titans tight end played off reports earlier in the week that he had requested a trade, but — in his first public comments since those reports — provided some insight into why he might want to play elsewhere.
“Everything’s fine. I want to win,” he said. “That’s the big thing. I haven’t been to the playoffs once. I just want to win games.”
The Titans selected Cook in the third round in 2009, months after their most recent playoff appearance.
Their current three-year postseason drought matches the longest since the franchise relocated from Houston in 1997. They also missed out on the playoffs from 2004 through 2006.
Halfway through this season Tennessee is 3-5 as it prepares to face Chicago (6-1) on Sunday (noon, LP Field, Fox). Eleven teams in the AFC, including two in the AFC South, currently have better records.
“It’s about winning,” Cook said. “We’re not here to lose. We’re here to win as many games as we can and make it to the playoffs and make it the best season we can. Winning is huge. … If we were losing we’d be nobody. If we were winning we’d be everything. So winning is huge.”
He added that he is “cool” with his role in the offense.
Cook currently is tied for second on the team with 28 receptions, is second with 373 receiving yards and shares the team lead for receiving touchdowns with three. Already, the touchdown total matches his single-season best and his reception total puts him on pace for a career-high.
Prior to Thursday night’s contest between San Diego and Kansas City he was tied for 12th in receptions among all tight ends but his average of 13.3 yards per reception was the third highest among the top 15.
“I hope he’s here as long as I am,” offensive coordinator Chris Palmer said. “I liked him from Day One. I think he contributes to our team. I think he’s a valuable member of our team. Some games we’re going to feature different guys because of a certain matchup.
“Jared Cook is a very, very good player. He makes big plays.”
Even though it did not happen now, Cook might find his way on to another roster before too long. He is in the final year of his contract and, consequently, is set to be a free agent shortly after the current season ends.
“I don’t get involved with the contract. I don’t get involved with trades or any of that stuff,” Palmer said. “All I’m doing is coaching, and he’s very coachable player, he does what we ask him to do and I think he’s gotten better.”