Jared Cook originally seemed likely to return to the Green Bay Packers next season. The two sides were working toward a contract as recently as this week. Those talks have stalled in the past few days, however, which may lead to the tight end fleeing the NFC North squad in free agency.

A break in negotiations

ESPN's Adam Schefter initially reported that discussions between the player and the team had broken down on Friday morning. With that news, it became expected that Cook would leave the Packers for another team during free agency. He played under a one-year, $2.75 million deal last season, his first in Green Bay.

Cook had a strong season in Green Bay, the first time he has ever played for a team that qualified for the playoffs. He became the most dynamic weapon at tight end that quarterback Aaron Rodgers has ever had, leading him to make a statement about the need for the team to re-sign him to a contract for the next season, and maybe even beyond. Now, it seems the Packers will fail to acquiesce to their franchise player's desires.

Both sides look to the future

Cook will be a sought after tight end. Despite some struggles with consistency throughout his career, he proved his value during his only season in Green Bay. There are plenty of teams in need of a dynamic weapon who would take the tight end, who has played for the Los Angeles Rams and Tennessee Titans during his eight-year career.

The Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, and Detroit Lions have all been mentioned as possible destinations.

Green Bay, however, may suffer dearly from this loss. The team has a steady stable of good wide receivers, but an athletic tight end helps keep defenses on their toes -- it's the reason Rodgers wanted to see Cook stick around so badly.

They have no obvious replacement for him on the roster and with free agency well underway (and the Packers a relatively shy team in free agency anyway), the team may simply have to deal with having a less open passing game next season, harming their Super Bowl odds.

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