Dalvin Cook Finally Finds New NFL Team

a Dalvin Cook
Dec 9, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) looks on and smiles during the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

It took 66 days.

The Minnesota Vikings released Dalvin Cook on June 9th, a cap casualty entering the 2023 season as the 28-year-old was scheduled to inflict a $14.4 million cap hit against the Vikings books.

Dalvin Cook Finally Finds New NFL Team

But The Cook Sweepstakes are finally over, as Cook agreed to terms with the New York Jets on Monday evening.

Dalvin Cook Finally Finds
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) warms up before the game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted on the X app, “Four-time Pro Bowler Dalvin Cook is signing with the Jets on a one-year deal, sources tell me and Ian Rapoport. Cook always wanted to land in New York. Now he teams up with former NFC North rival Aaron Rodgers, with all eyes on a Super Bowl.”

Cook, who turned 28 last week, will formally begin his career’s second chapter in the AFC with a team long-favored to secure his services.

Have Zeroed
Oct 30, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) and offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw (71) react after a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

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).

In New York, he’ll presumably share the RB1 load with young tailback Breece Hall, who’s recovering from a season-ending injury in 2022.

Crickets So Far
Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) runs the ball during the first quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

Cook fought injury demons in his freshman and sophomore seasons of 2017 and 2018, but after that, he somehow morphed into one of the most durable running backs in the business — and nobody really talks about it. From 2019 to 2022, Cook played in 58 of 66 games, the 11th-most in the NFL among tailbacks, while tallying the third-most rushing yards (5,024) in the timeframe. Only Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans) and Nick Chubb (Cleveland Browns) tabulated more yards on the ground in the last four seasons.

In 2022, his final year in purple, Cook remained totally upright, missing zero games. He also had offseason surgery a few months ago to clear up a lingering shoulder malady.

Asking Price Is
Nov 3, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) runs against Kansas City Chiefs inside linebacker Anthony Hitchens (53) and strong safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports.

Overall, Cook’s per-carry production dipped in 2022, but he suddenly implemented a ‘homerun ball’ to his skillset, ripping off a handful of game-saving touchdown scampers.

In July, new Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers accepted a paycut, saving New York $35 million over the next two years, mainly so the Jets could add dynamic players like Cook. And that plan — with news of Cook in The Big Apple — has worked. Emphatically.

Free-agent running back Ezekiel Elliott signed with the New England Patriots on Monday.

The Jets are scheduled to win nine or ten games in 2023, according to sportsbooks.


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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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