Are the New York Jets Still Considering Dalvin Cook? Robert Saleh Offers an Update

At Robert Saleh's first training camp press conference, the New York Jets head coach spoke on Gang Green's pursuit of Dalvin Cook and Breece Hall's health.

Aaron Rodgers was the most significant addition made by any NFL team this offseason, but the New York Jets may not be done augmenting their roster. Gang Green has been consistently linked to free agent running back Dalvin Cook, who could help the Jets as second-year RB Breece Hall recovers from his October ACL tear. On Thursday, head coach Robert Saleh addressed both a potential Cook signing and Hall’s injury status.

New York Jets Remain Open To Signing Dalvin Cook

Cook has been on the open market for more than a month, and the Jets aren’t the only team — or even the only club in the AFC East — interested in signing the ex-Viking. The Patriots have reportedly eyed Cook, while the Dolphins have officially made him an offer, albeit one that he’s reportedly “not willing to accept.”

Meanwhile, Pro Football Talk reported earlier this month that New York was “gaining momentum” toward a Cook signing. Cook’s agent, Zac Hiller, recently called Rodgers someone “you absolutely want to play with” and said the Jets are a “great situation” for Cook.

Speaking to reporters today, Saleh indicated that New York is still in on Cook.

“With Dalvin, obviously, you never want to say no to a great player,” Saleh said. “I’ll leave (general manager) Joe (Douglas) to that one. I know there’s a lot of contractual stuff that goes with it. But he is a good one.”

Cook, 28 next month, has posted four consecutive 1,000-yard campaigns, but his yards per carry average has dropped in each of the last three years. If he were to join the Jets as a tag-team partner for Hall, Cook could push holdover Zonovan Knight off New York’s roster.

Cook was scheduled to earn a $10.4 million base salary with the Vikings before his release. It’s unclear what type of cash Cook has rejected from the Dolphins, but he’s incredibly unlikely to come anywhere near the salary he was due to receive from Minnesota. The Jets rank fifth in the NFL with $23.3 million in cap space.

Breece Hall Injury Update

The Jets officially placed Hall on the active/physically unable to perform (PUP) list on Wednesday. If he’s still on the PUP list by the time the regular season arrives, he’d be required to miss at least the first four games of the year.

But New York has remained optimistic that Hall will be ready for Week 1, and Saleh echoed that sentiment on Thursday.

“When he’s ready, he’s ready,” Saleh said. “The one thing with these ACLs, you don’t want to go too quick. But at the same time, you don’t want to go too slow. So there’s a balancing act. Trust our trainers, trust our doctors. As of now, knock on wood, things are going really well.”

Saleh said the Jets still need to see Hall’s ability to run, cut, and change direction before he’s cleared to practice. But he also noted that Hall hit 23 miles per hour on the club’s GPS tracking system on Thursday, which would have been the fastest speed by any NFL ball carrier over the past two seasons.

“He looks really good,” Saleh said of Hall. ” … He looks strong. He’s in really good shape. Obviously, we’re going to do good by him and make sure that we slow-play it. But he’s in really good shape.”

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