© Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Lions Sign Former Michigan State QB Connor Cook To Reserve-Future Contract

Matthew Stafford has a new backup QB.

January 01, 2019 - 1:01 pm
Categories: 

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (WWJ) -- The Lions announced their first move of the offseason Tuesday following a 6-10 season under first-year head coach Matt Patricia, as the club signed former Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook to a reserve-future contract.

Cook -- who led the Spartans to a Big Ten title and the 2015 College Football Playoff -- played in one regular season game in 2016 for the Oakland Raiders, who drafted him in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He was thrust into a starting role as a rookie for the team's Wild Card playoff game at Houston that season, completing just 18 of 45 passes for one touchdown and three interceptions.

Cook, 25, signed with the Carolina Panthers' practice squad in early September less than a week after the Raiders released him. Carolina released him in October and he signed with the Cincinnati Bengals soon after.

With reserve-future contracts, players typically receive the league-minimum salary with no guarantees and it does not count against a team's salary cap until the start of the new league year in March.

The Lions have several options with Cook moving forward. They likely will not re-sign veteran Matt Cassel, who signed last a veteran-minimum one-year deal last offseason. Detroit can now choose between Cook and former University of Michigan quarterback Jake Rudock to play backup to starter Matthew Stafford.

The Lions could also explore the possibility of drafting a quarterback in April's draft, in which they hold the No. 8 pick in the first round.

Detroit got a good look at Cook over the summer during a preseason game with the Raiders, as well as a couple of joint practices. Cook was 11-for-19 passing with a touchdown and no interceptions in the preseason game at Oakland.