The Chargers grabbed Georgia TE Tre McKitty in the 3rd round of the 2021 NFL Draft. The 6'4, 246-pounder caught 50 balls across 3 seasons at Florida State before transferring to Georgia last year and totaling just 6 grabs. McKitty tested as an above-average athlete at his Pro Day, including a 4.71-second 40 time. He joins Jared Cook and cult hero Donald Parham in the Chargers' TE room.
The Chargers have agreed to a 1-year deal with TE Jared Cook, worth up to $6 million, according to multiple reports. Cook, of course, spent the past 2 years in New Orleans, where his targets dipped but his efficiency spiked. Cook posted 2 of his 3 best yards-per-catch rates with the Saints and scored on 20% of his catches. He faces plenty of opportunity with the Chargers, who allowed TE Hunter Henry to walk in free agency. Cook should face some competition from 23-year-old Donald Parham, but his arrival should also knock Parham's best-ball ADP down from its recent rise. Cook is heading into his age-34 season, so some decline in his performance is certainly possible.
The Saints released TEs Jared Cook and Josh Hill. The Cook move was just a formality, with his contract set to expire later this month anyway. He gets a head start now on finding his next employer. The soon-to-be 34-year-old remained effective last season, posting a 37-504-7 line on 60 targets. Hill saw just 10 targets last year, so his departure doesn't move the needle. But the moves in tandem open the door for 2020 3rd-rounder Adam Trautman to take over as New Orleans' starter. He's a 2021 breakout candidate.
According to Jeff Duncan of The Athletic, the Saints are “extremely high” on 2nd-year TE Adam Trautman. Duncan went so far as to name Trautman as his top “breakout candidate” for next season. As a rookie, the Dayton product saw just 16 targets behind Jared Cook. But he caught 15 of them for 171 yards (11.4 YPC) and 1 score. Duncan fully expects the cash-strapped Saints to move on from the high-priced Cook, who’s coming off a down season. Trautman, meanwhile, makes sense as a fringe TE2 or TE3 target in early FFPC drafts.
The Saints have placed WR Michael Thomas (ankle) on IR. So he'll miss the final 3 games of the regular season. The team expects Thomas "close to 100% for the start of the playoffs," according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Emmanuel Sanders and Tre'Quan Smith will operate as New Orleans' top 2 WRs vs. the Chiefs, Vikings and Panthers the next 3 weeks. Jared Cook is back in the TE1 mix with Thomas out and QB Drew Brees back.
"Signs are pointing towards" Saints QB Taysom Hill getting the start against the Falcons this weekend, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Hill has taken starter reps in practice this week. It's a mild surprise only because the Saints figure to drastically alter their offense moving from a pure pocket passer in Drew Brees to a dual-threat in Hill. There's still a chance New Orleans mixes in QB Jameis Winston, but Hill has suddenly become a super intriguing Week 11 fantasy play. He brings big rushing upside -- and the matchup is sweet vs. Atlanta's 32nd-ranked QB defense. The move to Hill is a major downgrade for WR Michael Thomas and the rest of New Orleans' pass catchers.
Update: ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Hill "will start" vs. Atlanta after taking "all the starter reps" at practice this week. Winston will back him up.
Saints TE Jared Cook (groin) is active for tonight's game against the Chargers. He was limited in practice all week after missing Week 4, so Cook is a risk/reward fantasy play. TE Adam Trautman is a healthy scratch tonight.
Saints TE Jared Cook (groin) is expected to play against the Chargers tonight, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. Cook was limited in practice all week after missing Week 4, so he'll carry elevated risk in fantasy lineups.
Saints TE Jared Cook (groin) is listed as questionable for Monday night's game against the Chargers after a limited week of practice. With the late kickoff, you're better off looking elsewhere for your starting TE this week.
Saints TE Jared Cook (groin) put in a limited practice on Thursday. That gives him a shot to return for Monday night's game against the Chargers. We'll get another update on Cook's status tomorrow.
Saints TE Jared Cook (groin) is out for Sunday's game against the Lions. He missed practice all week and might be looking at a multi-game absence. Rookie TE Adam Trautman stepped in for Cook last week but would be a desperation Week 4 fantasy play.
Saints TE Jared Cook (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday. At this point, fantasy owners shouldn't count on having him in Week 4 lineups. We'll see if his status changes over the next couple of days.
Saints TE Jared Cook was knocked out of Sunday night's game vs. the Packers with an ankle injury. We'll look for an update on the severity. Rookie TE Adam Trautman played a season-high 52% of the offensive snaps with Cook sidelined, hauling in both of his targets for 17 yards.
The Saints have ruled WR Michael Thomas out for Monday night’s game against the Raiders. That’s been the expected move all week, though there was a bit of optimism Friday. We’ll see whether that means Thomas can make it back from his high-ankle sprain for Week 3. His absence leaves targets for Emmanuel Sanders and crew, and elevates Tre’Quan Smith to a starting role in a positive matchup. We can’t help but downgrade Drew Brees with no Thomas, though, especially after an unspectacular opener
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that Saints WR Michael Thomas' high-ankle sprain is "worse than originally believed and he's now expected to miss several weeks." Thomas' absence would push targets toward WR Emmanuel Sanders, TE Jared Cook, WR Tre'Quan Smith and RB Alvin Kamara -- and perhaps motivate the Saints to go more run-heavy. As recently as 2017 and 2018, this offense ranked among the most run-heavy in the league. The next 3 weeks bring matchups with the Raiders, Packers and Lions -- all of whom ranked 16th or worse in Football Outsiders run-defense DVOA last season. Then come the Chargers (25th) and a Week 6 bye. So you should probably prepare the possibility of going without Thomas until Week 7. Thomas' situation also hurts the fantasy outlook for QB Drew Brees, who threw for just 160 yards in the opening win over Tampa.
Saints WR Michael Thomas suffered a high-ankle sprain late in Sunday's win over the Bucs, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. "It’s something he believes he can play through," Pelissero adds. "With an extra day before next Monday’s game vs. Raiders, nobody ruling Thomas out." It sounds like this is a relatively minor high-ankle sprain, but it's still worrisome. Just last year, we saw this injury derail Alvin Kamara and Saquon Barkley's seasons. We'll obviously keep a close eye on Thomas' status this coming week. His absence would be a big blow to QB Drew Brees, while opening up a ton of opportunity for Kamara, TE Jared Cook and WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Tre'Quan Smith.
Saints TE Jared Cook (concussion) isn't listed on the final injury report after putting in full practices on Friday and Saturday. He's averaged 71 yards and .8 TDs over his last 5 games and is a TE1 with upside for Monday night's game against the Colts.
Saints TE Jared Cook (concussion) graduated to a full practice on Friday. That seemingly puts him on track to be cleared for Monday night's game against the Colts. We'll get another update on Cook's status tomorrow.
Saints TE Jared Cook (concussion) got in a limited practice on Thursday. He has an extra day to get cleared for Monday night's game against the Colts, but consider Cook no better than 50/50 for that one. Josh Hill will serve as New Orleans' lead pass-catching TE if Cook is out.
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