Dalvin Cook Is on the Move Again

Viking in Playoffs
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Dalvin Cook is free to pursue a Super Bowl if some team will allow it.

The New York Jets and the 28-year-old parted ways on Tuesday, presenting Cook with the opportunity to sign anywhere in the league.

Dalvin Cook Is on the Move Again

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted, “Four-time Pro Bowl RB Dalvin Cook and the Jets have mutually agreed to part ways, allowing Cook the opportunity to play for a playoff team, per his agency LAA Sports Entertainment. The dynamic playmaker has fresh legs after minimal usage in NY and can now compete for a Super Bowl.”

Dalvin Cook Is on the Move
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Cook’s second chapter ends rather unceremoniously, as when he signed in New York last summer, he hoped to join Aaron Rodgers and friends for a Super Bowl push. But just four plays into the season, Rodgers tore his Achilles — the same injury that beset Kirk Cousins in October — and the Jets’ season died that moment.

Meanwhile, Cook struggled mightily in New York and has been flatly ignored in the Jets’ awful offense as of late. He’s banked 82 touches in 2023 for 292 yards from scrimmage, a meager 3.6 yards per touch. During his Vikings run, for example, he tabulated 5.5 yards per touch in 2019.

Another Nugget Enters
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Cook ripped off some large memorable runs in 2022, his final purple season, but on the whole, ranked as one of the league’s worst halfbacks per EPA/Play. So, Minnesota’s front office cut ties with Cook and his $14 million cap hit, and he landed with the Jets in August.

Then, the 2023 regular season kicked off, the aforementioned Rodgers was injured right away, and New York’s running game struggled. Cook, in particular, hit a performance wall, so much so that his workload was totally downgraded once Breece Hall returned to full health.

Friendly to Dalvin
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Cook told ESPN last month, “For any guy that has produced in this league, it’s frustrating. You want to be productive. I was hoping just to be in the right situation for me. Like I said, I want an opportunity. I feel great. My body is ready to roll. I was just hoping for a great opportunity.”

The former Viking will turn 29 next summer and could reasonably sign on with a Super Bowl contender in the next few days. Perhaps the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, or Kansas City Chiefs would make sense.

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“Honestly, I feel like if you put my tape on, I proved myself in this league. I don’t go beg for carries. I feel like I was brought here for a reason,” Cook mentioned in December.

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).

He 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 those four seasons.

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

The NFL playoffs begin in 11 days.

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.