Cook appeared on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football on Friday, July 28, where he was asked about his next team. The running back responded that the New York Jets are at “the top of the list” of candidates and that “the possibility is high” he lands there before the summer is out.
Aaron Rodgers’ Pay Cut Makes Dalvin Cook Feasible Candidate for Jets
While the Jets’ improved talent and postseason prospects make the team a desirable destination for most free agents, other breaking news involving Rodgers may ultimately prove to be what puts New York over the top in the Cook sweepstakes.
On Wednesday, Rodgers agreed to a $35 million pay cut over the next two seasons, dropping his total salary from $110 million to $75 million across that span, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. The Jets now have the salary cap space necessary to ink Cook to a considerable contract for at least the next couple of seasons while maintaining flexibility to add to other positions of greater need.
Cook has remained a free agent throughout this entire summer due to financial reasons. The NFL’s running back pay scale has been a hot topic this offseason, and Cook is one of the players at its center after the Vikings cut bait with the four-time Pro Bowler in June in the interest of $9 million in 2023 cap savings.
Minnesota signed Cook to a five-year extension worth $63 million total in September 2020. The running back played just two seasons on that deal before the Vikings’ new managerial regime, led by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell, decided to cut bait.
Dalvin Cook, Dolphins Can’t Agree on Compensation
That New York just cleared $35 million off its books over the next two years is one part of the Cook-to-Jets equation. A second piece to the puzzle is that the Miami Dolphins, Cook’s preferred destination for much of the offseason, didn’t come with a high enough offer to procure his services on two separate occasions.
First, the Dolphins were unable to reach terms on a trade for Cook ahead of the draft. Next, after he hit free agency, Miami failed to make Cook an offer he deemed acceptable.
“The Miami Dolphins remain interested, they still have an offer on the table — one that Cook is not willing to accept,” ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reported on the July 8 edition of NFL Live.
Cook said Friday morning that a return to his home state of Florida to play for the Dolphins would be his version of a “Cinderella story,” though that outcome is less likely now that financial disputes have stopped his move there both via trade and free agency.
Should Cook land with the Jets, he will be part of a two-headed rushing attack that includes second-year running back Breece Hall. Hall was having a Pro Bowl-caliber season in 2022 before tearing his ACL in Week 7.