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St. Louis Rams: Jared Cook - A Free Agent Swing That Missed...

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Before Rams fans pile head coach Jeff Fisher into this, let's be clear: Jared Cook has himself to blame for failing so far with the St. Louis Rams, and no one else...

When Jared Cook was signed in 2013 to a $35 million, five-year contract - $16 million guaranteed - the Rams thought they'd added a key weapon for then quarterback Sam Bradford.  Instead - for the rather large bag of coin he's  been paid thus far  - he really only had a handful of games anyone could consider "fair" In his first game for the Rams in 2013, he looked like Jeff Fisher hit solid gold. Against the Cardinals in week #1 in 2013, he had 141 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. It would have been even better, if not for a great play by Arizona safety Tyrann Mathieu. That play marked both fabulous beginning for Cook in St. Louis, and the edge of a cliff he continues to teeter off of as his career slipped into mediocrity...

The 6'5", 254 lbs tight end out of the University of South Carolina has the physical gifts to be the best in the NFL at his position. But it's NEVER going to happen, and here's why: He has ZERO heart on game days. Cook plays like he has an over protective "soccer Mom" whispering in his ear: "Let the others block, you could get hurt... Or they may have germs? Don't dive for the ball! The ground is hard, and there could be bugs? Play nice, and Mommy will get you ice creme after the game..."

Jared Cook is a training camp phenom, and little more. When a game isn't on the line, I'm sure he does a great job playing touch football in 7 on 7 drills. His one Cardinal game explosion was all he had in him, because after that he joined the ranks of players simply going through act of looking good enough at practices to keep getting his pay check. He's screwed his teammates, coaches and fans.

If you haven't seen this great analysis of the St. Louis offense by Brett Kollmann at SBNation's Battle Red Blog, you need to pay close attention to around the 9:53-ish mark:

When I go back to other game film to focus on Cook, what happened in the video you just watched isn't all that rare of an occurrence. In fact, it's become the rule more than the exception. When Cook blocks, you can almost imagine him closing his eyes as he turns a shoulder to slightly nudge his assignment. There may even be the tiniest little girl scream heard too, but with crowd noise we'll never know...

Jared Cook fancies himself to be more of a wide receiver. Fair enough, but since the team paying him actually thinks he's more of a tight end, he should probably decide to start doing his job. He won't though, and therein lies the rub. The bottom line is the Rams offense has found where and why their offense will continue to stumble as they enter the Todd Gurley era at running back. Opposing teams need to be forced to account for every offensive weapon on the field. Cook can be negated by a defender simply yelling "Boo!" in his direction. His only value is if a defense pays him no attention at all and leaves him wide open. Even still, the odds of him catching a pass are very much a coin toss.

With the more steady and effective Lance Kendricks being injured for at least a week or two, and the promotion of Justice Cunningham from the practice squad to fill in, it's time for Jeff Fisher to think about sliding Cook all the way out of his offensive game planning. He's the "Ten steps back" guy after you make a step forward. He'll NEVER be a guy Nick Foles will trust or count on down the line. Frank Cignetti Jr. won't want to call running plays to Cook's side, so he's literally a way opposing teams will begin to game plan to stop Gurley.

Jared Cook is a dish that gone cold. It's time to pay the check, push away from the table, and - for team COO Kevin Demoff and general manager Les Snead - to eat a hand full of Tums as the Rams think about the $35 million that's been flushed down the drain...