Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL Nation [Print without images]

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
The Rams' newest slot receiver is a TE

By Mike Sando


The St. Louis Rams have signed a slot receiver in free agency. Jared Cook is his name. He's a tight end, but as the chart shows, Cook made 36 of his 42 receptions last season after lining up in the slot -- a consideration as we weigh contingencies for the Rams possibly losing slot receiver Danny Amendola in free agency.

Amendola made 51 of his 62 catches from the slot, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He's much smaller, quicker and shiftier than Cook, discouraging across-the-board comparisons. But it's important to differentiate the receiving production Cook offers from the production a traditional in-line tight end would typically offer.

The key question: To what degree does Cook's addition cover the Rams if Amendola signs elsewhere? We should note that Rams receiver Austin Pettis had 25 receptions for 228 yards and two touchdowns from the slot last season. Tight end Lance Kendricks had 15 receptions for 156 yards and a score from the slot.

None of those players is likely to give the Rams exactly what Amendola gave them on third down in particular. But with the flexibility Cook provides, I can see why the Rams aren't breaking the bank to keep Amendola, especially in light of injury concerns.