Why the New York Jets Are the Frontrunners To Sign Dalvin Cook

Appearing on NFL Network Friday morning, Dalvin Cook explained what makes the New York Jets an attractive landing spot but didn't rule out other teams.

Three AFC East teams — the New York Jets, the Miami Dolphins, and the New England Patriots — are known to have some level of interest in running back Dalvin Cook, who remains on the open market after being released by the Minnesota Vikings this past June.

Cook will take his first free agent visit this weekend when he meets with the Jets on Sunday. Appearing on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, Cook made it clear New York remains his most likely destination.

Dalvin Cook Could Sign With the New York Jets This Weekend

Asked about the chances that he will sign with the Jets after his upcoming visit, Cook didn’t hold back.

“I think they’re pretty high, man,” Cook said told NFL Network.

New York finalized a revised contract with Aaron Rodgers earlier this week, with the veteran quarterback accepting a steep pay cut over the next two seasons. Rodgers’ 2023 cap charge is now below $9 million, leaving the Jets with over $16 million in available cap space.

Unsurprisingly, Cook said Rodgers’ presence is a significant attraction as he considers Gang Green.

“It feels like that’s the guy you want to be around,” Cook said. “I think Aaron’s at a spot where he just wants to go win. He just wants to go prove to everybody that I’m in the big city, we’re going to go win and get this thing done. You appreciate a guy like that, and you’re going to put it on the line for a guy like that.”

Earlier this month, Jets head coach Robert Saleh was asked about the possibility of adding 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.”

Breece Hall is projected to be New York’s lead back in 2023, but the former second-round pick is on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list as he works his way back from an October ACL tear. The Jets have expressed optimism that Hall will be ready for Week 1, but Cook would make for an overqualified insurance policy.

Dalvin Cook Is Still Considering Other Teams

While the Jets appear to be the favorite for Cook’s services, he didn’t rule out other clubs, suggesting that he’s taking things “one step at a time.”

The Dolphins have been connected to Cook ever since the Vikings released him. While Cook — a Miami native — hasn’t visited with the Dolphins, they have reportedly offered him a contract.

“Yeah, I’m still weighing my options,” Cook said of the Dolphins. “This thing is not over. Playing in my hometown would mean so much for me, my community, for my family, just everything around me. Just a Cinderella story. It’s just something that would bring so much joy to the city, and I know what I could bring to the city. It would be big for the city and myself.”

Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel was asked about Cook during his Friday press conference and offered a diplomatic response.

“Well, first and foremost, I think I’m extremely happy with our running back group, extremely happy,” McDaniel said. “I have great relationships with some very talented players. However, Dalvin Cook is a great player. And, you know, I kind of look at it like this — If it works on both sides, it makes sense for somebody … You don’t want anybody … You’re, you’re adding a player to the team, the organization, and the player, all the things that they both need, need to be met, for it to work.

“He’s a free agent, and he’s visiting the Jets, and that’s what I have to say.”

Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr., and third-round rookie De’Von Achane profile as Miami’s top three backs, while Salvon Ahmed, Myles Gaskin, and undrafted free agent Chris Brooks are competing to make the roster.

Meanwhile, the Patriots are still exploring a possible meeting with Cook, as ESPN reported on Thursday. New England recently worked out free agent running backs Leonard Fournette and Darrell Henderson but didn’t sign either player. The Pats are searching for another back to work alongside Rhamondre Stevenson after losing Damien Harris to the Buffalo Bills in free agency.

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