EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Over at sister site Grantland, NFL writer Bill Barnwell recently unveiled his annual "all bad contracts" team. The list includes a player from every position whom Barnwell deems overpaid relative to production.
For a variety of reasons, a player can appear on the list but Barnwell has one reason for adding the only member of the St. Louis Rams to make the list. That player is tight end Jared Cook, who falls under the category that Barnwell terms "marginal talent."
Here's a snippet of Barnwell's reasoning for putting Cook on the list.
Cook, who has the 6-foot-5 frame to be a red zone terror, scored twice in his first game with the Rams and has just six touchdowns in his ensuing 31 contests. He’s averaged just more than 40 yards per game in St. Louis, which is actually a decline from his final two seasons in Tennessee, and by the end of 2015, the Rams will have given him more than $20 million.
Cook signed a five-year, $35 million deal in 2013. He's since offered similar production to what he posted in his four years with the Titans, though he posted career highs in receptions in 2014 and touchdowns in 2013.
In fairness, Cook hasn't yet had the benefit of playing with a starting-caliber quarterback for an entire season. But he's also had his share of miscues and drops along the way that have prevented him from reaching another level of production.
With Nick Foles in place as quarterback, Cook should have a chance to break through but at this point in his career, it's probably best to keep expectations of what that could mean at a reasonable level.
A roundup of the weekend's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... On Saturday, we opened the day with a look at quarterback Nick Foles' comfort level in St. Louis. ... Coach Jeff Fisher was pleased with his team's physical condition upon returning for camp. ... The Rams made some changes to their coaching staff as camp opened. ... In Saturday's practice report, we started with a look at the opening salvos of a cornerback competition. ... Sunday morning began with a look at safety T.J. McDonald's return to health. ... We followed with a look at Fisher's lack of concern in working with so many young offensive linemen. ... And we wrapped up the weekend with Sunday evening's practice report.
Plenty of big news from division rival Seattle over the weekend:
At 101sports.com, Rams GM Les Snead offers some thoughts on a few pressing topics.
At stltoday.com, Jim Thomas writes that Foles is fitting in just fine with the Rams.