Count the New York Jets as the latest NFL franchise to throw cold water on the idea of signing former Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. Citing Jets head coach Robert Saleh’s comments during the league meetings, SNY.TV’s Connor Hughes views the Elliott rumors as an effort by the star to land in the Big Apple rather than the franchise having an actual interest in the ex-Cowboys playmaker.
“Robert Saleh on Jets interest in Zeke Elliott ‘We love our running back room,'” Hughes said in a series of March 27, 2023 tweets. “You can pretty much put that one to sleep. Sounds like the Jets interest in Zeke Elliott was actually more Zeke Elliott being interested in the Jets.”
The news comes after ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Elliott had narrowed his next destination down to the Eagles, Bengals and Jets. This now appears to have been more of a “wish list” leaked by Elliott rather than franchises that are pursuing the former Pro Bowler.
“Cowboys’ RB Ezekiel Elliott has narrowed down his options about where to play to the Eagles, Jets and Bengals, and he would like to make his decision about where to sign by the end of next week, per sources,” Schefter said in a series of March 23, 2023 tweets. “Eagles once signed former Cowboys’ RB DeMarco Murray after the Cowboys let him go. Aaron Rodgers would be a lure to the Jets. Joe Burrow was at Ohio State in 2015 when Ezekiel Elliott was there.”
The Jets, Bengals & Eagles Have All Shot Down the Ezekiel Elliott Rumors
The Jets are just the latest team to downplay the possibility of signing Elliott joining the Bengals and Eagles who, so far, have not indicated there is a shared interest. Cincinnati head coach Zac Taylor took the question head on using the “we like our team” line similar to Saleh when asked about the Elliott rumors.
“There’s a lot of great players that are available right now,” Taylor told WCPO’s Mike Dyer during a March 23 interview. “We like our team where it’s at right now, but it’s always funny when things get thrown around. Sometimes it’s the first you hear of it, but that’s just the way life works.”
As for the Eagles, NBC Sports’ John Clark reported that Philadelphia has no current plans to pursue Elliott. Time will tell if Elliott’s options open up after the draft which is projected to have a deep class of running back prospects.
“I’m told as of right now the Eagles have not engaged in conversations with Ezekiel Elliott about joining the team and are happy with the running backs they have right now,” Clark tweeted on March 23. “It seems the Eagles, Bengals, Jets are a wish list for Ezekiel Elliott and where he would like to play.”
Could the Cowboys Look to Bring Back Zeke Given His Lukewarm Market?
All this is sure to have some Cowboys fans wondering if Elliott could turn back to Dallas if he is unable to find a financially appealing deal elsewhere. It is important to remember that the Cowboys’ decision to move on from Elliott likely had more to it than just financial reasons.
The reality is that Elliott being on the roster takes away touches from Tony Pollard, Ronald Jones and potentially a rookie that Dallas selects in the upcoming draft. The Athletic’s Jon Machota believes the Cowboys would be “thrilled” if Texas playmaker Bijan Robinson is still on the board at No. 26.
“The Cowboys would have to be absolutely thrilled if Robinson fell to 26,” Machota detailed on March 22. “He’s the type of elite talent they’d probably select if they had a top-15 pick. With Ezekiel Elliott released and Tony Pollard franchise-tagged, running back is one of Dallas’ biggest needs. They are expected to pick one by Round 4, but none would make the immediate impact that Robinson would in the running and passing game.”