Beloved Former Viking Could Be Traded

Oct 1, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; A New York Jets fan cheers during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports.

The New York Jets two-game win streak precisely aligns with the team’s shift at running back.

The club announced before its Week 5 win over the Denver Broncos that running back Breece Hall would be showcased as a bellcow type for the first time in 2023, and boom, New York then beat the Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles in back-to-back weeks.

Beloved Former Viking Could Be Traded

The proclamation decreased former Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook’s workload, fetching just 10 touches in the last two games — both wins. For context, Cook received 16 touches in Week 1 alone.

Beloved Former Viking Could
Sep 11, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets running back Dalvin Cook (33) carries the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports.

And with the NFL’s trade deadline about two weeks away, Cook could be on his way out of New York after arriving just a few months ago, according to The Athletic.

Before the Jets shocking triumph over the Eagles, The Athletic’s Dianna Russini explained New York’s trade aspirations, “GM Joe Douglas has his phone lines open for a trade partner to deal receiver Mecole Hardman. Hardman’s former team, the Kansas City Chiefs, is a suitor to watch. I’m also hearing that the team would be willing to move on from edge rusher Carl Lawson. He was a healthy scratch in Week 5 against the Broncos and hasn’t seen significant time on the field. Lawson did take a pay cut this offseason, so he wouldn’t cost an acquiring team much money.”

Sep 17, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) hands off to running back Dalvin Cook (33) in the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports.

The Jets are a half-game out of the AFC’s final wildcard spot through six weeks.

Russini then mentioned Cook, “It’s possible the team is even open to dealing Dalvin Cook as the trade deadline gets closer.”

Cook has carried the rock 39 times in 109 yards — or a horrid 2.8 yards per carry. It is unclear which team, if any, would want Cook via trade unless it believed a geographical cure would do the trick.

Oct 8, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Damarri Mathis (27) tackles New York Jets running back Dalvin Cook (33) in the second half at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

Before Cook decided on the Jets as his landing spot, teams like the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots were prevalent in the sweepstakes for his services. Now, though, the Dolphins have realized Cook wasn’t wholly necessary, and the Patriots are going nowhere fast.

Perhaps a team like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could give the Cook-trade scenario a look, ranking 29th in the NFL through Week 6 per rushing EPA/Play. Too, the Baltimore Ravens also enjoy adding running backs galore, so monitor that squad if Russini’s trade theory is correct.

Cook departed the Vikings as the franchise’s third-leading rusher in franchise history (5,993 yards) behind Adrian Peterson (11,747) and Robert Smith (6,818). His 47 rushing touchdowns rank fourth behind Peterson (97), Chuck Foreman (52), and Bill Brown (52). And his rushing yards per game (82.1) are second, only trailing Peterson (95.5).

Sep 12, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) runs with the ball for a touchdown in the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings cut ties with Cook in June due to a mammoth $14 million cap hit and declining production in 2022 — a decision that appears prophetic and wise as of October 16th.

Russini also stated in her publication that Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is unlikely to leave the team via trade before the Halloween deadline — and that Minnesota may want the passer back for 2024.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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