Dalvin Cook Seems to Have Zeroed In on a Division

The Odd Part about
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings decided to move on from veteran running back earlier this offseason, and while Alexander Mattison is now the bellcow for Kevin O’Connell, it appears Cook has a preferred landing territory. The team has yet to be decided, but the AFC East looks like home.

Dalvin Cook Seems to Have Zeroed In on a Division

From the get-go, it was largely assumed that Dalvin Cook to the Miami Dolphins made the most sense. He is a Miami native and has seen significant success playing in Florida over the years. He spent his collegiate career with Florida State and ripped off a signature run against the Dolphins last season.

To this point, though, the Dolphins have not done enough to secure his services, and Cook is now looking at alternatives. While there are plenty of teams across the league, Cook has apparently zeroed in on three — all from the same division.

Have Zeroed
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

On Thursday, he’s making a visit to the New York Jets. Divisional opponents of the Dolphins, New York recently swung a deal to land former Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Although Cook has never played alongside the future Hall of Famer, there is plenty of familiarity there, given his time in Minnesota. Rodgers has had talented running backs in the form of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon of late, so Cook could continue that trend.

New York is looking to capitalize on a window that could be relatively brief. Rodgers brings his Hall of Fame resume to the Big Apple, and the Jets will need to win it all at the tail end of his career. They certainly gave up substantial assets to acquire him, and equipping Rodgers with the best team possible has to be their chief focus.

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

If the Jets allow Cook to leave the building, it appears he could make a trip to one of their rivals, the New England Patriots. Bill Belichick hasn’t traditionally been one to swing for the big names at the running back position, but that has been less necessary with Tom Brady under center. Now employing Mac Jones, the Patriots need to surround their young quarterback with talented skill position players, and bringing in an elite athlete like Cook could certainly help.

It remains to be seen where Cook ends up, and odds have shifted dramatically over recent weeks. From initially believing the Dolphins were the lock to having seen New England be called likely, it appears to be anyone’s guess at this point. The only thing sure is that Cook will not be playing in Minnesota for the first time in his career and will look to establish a new identity elsewhere.

On the field, it will be interesting to see what Cook brings with him for the 2023 season. Last year, under a new head coach, Cook remained healthy throughout the season for the first time in his career. Unfortunately, that didn’t come with enhanced production, and despite O’Connell leaning more on the passing game, Cook didn’t exactly establish himself as the same runner he has been over the course of his career.

AFC East Arms Race
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

There is no denying that Cook remains a talented player and solid running back, but to what extent his talents depreciate remains to be seen. He did have offseason shoulder surgery and definitely isn’t getting younger. No matter where he lands, that organization will look for high-level production from day one.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.