GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) As Jared Cook considered his options in free agency, finding a quarterback to get him the football was first and foremost on his mind.
''It was more than the top priority I was looking for,'' the tight end said Tuesday, a day after signing a one-year free-agent contract with the Packers, whose quarterback happens to be two-time league MVP Aaron Rodgers. ''It was imperative that I find a person that's known for getting the job done and is good at what they do. I think that he's one of the best in the league at doing it, clearly.''
While Cook targeted a team with a proven quarterback, the Packers, who rarely delve into free agency, targeted Cook to give their quarterback an explosive threat at tight end. Last season, Richard Rodgers caught 58 passes, one of four tight ends in franchise history to catch at least 55 in a season. But he averaged only 8.8 yards per reception.
The 6-foot-5 Cook, who ran his 40-yard dash in a blazing 4.50 seconds at the 2009 combine, averaged 12.8 yards during his first seven seasons in the NFL - without catching passes from a QB in Rodgers' class.
The Rams released him in February after he caught 39 passes for 481 yards and no touchdowns in 2015.
''We had a new quarterback, new offensive coordinator, a new offensive scheme, a lot of guys trying to get used to each other in such a short period of time,'' Cook said. ''It was tough, but those are the things that you have to deal with in this business. Not everything is going to be rainbows and ice cream.''
Cook, a third-round pick by the Tennessee Titans in 2009, never lived up to the five-year, $35 million unrestricted free-agent contract he signed with the Rams in 2013. However, during those three seasons with the Rams, Cook had three offensive coordinators and six starting quarterbacks.
Now, he will be playing with an elite passer, and one of the first people he talked to after agreeing to the contract was Rodgers.
''I think I was more excited than he was,'' Cook said, ''just to be able to play with somebody that's so great at what he does and somebody that's proven.''
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