The prized free agent running back liked a tweeted video of him scoring an 81-yard touchdown against the Patriots’ rival Buffalo Bills last season. PGT Nest posted the original tweet with the message “Dalvin Cook, you are a #Patriot” with the four-time Pro Bowler’s big play.
That didn’t mark the first time Cook teased the Patriots via social media amid his free agency. He liked three other posts that linked him to the Patriots since June 23, and one included comments from a former Patriots coaching assistant.
Michael Lombardi explained on the “Pat McAfee Show” how Cook would fit in with New England. Cook also retweeted the segment from June 23.
Despite four-consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and 43 touchdowns in that span, the Minnesota Vikings released Cook on June 8. Cook had a four-year, $63 million deal with the Vikings, and the team couldn’t find a trade partner before his release.
He would make the Patriots’ offense instantly more dangerous as would pair with fellow 1,000-yard rusher Rhamondre Stevenson. The Patriots have $13.2 million in salary cap space to work with, but the team also faces multiple priorities at the moment.
Free agent wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins visited the Patriots on June 15. The Patriots also face significant needs at offensive tackle and cornerback.
With all of that said, Cook has been teasing interest with the rest of the AFC East of late. New England could easily benefit from Cook’s big runs this or scheming how to stop him twice this fall.
Ex-Patriots RB Doesn’t See Dalvin Cook as a Fit
Former Patriots running back James White doesn’t buy the Cook hype because of Stevenson. New England found a reliable runner in Stevenson last season amid 1,040 yards and five touchdowns.
“[Coach] Bill [Belichick] loves that guy, so he just has to capitalize on the opportunity,” White said about Stevenson via ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
White added that he would be “surprised” at Cook joining the team. Belichick has used multiple running backs before, but Stevenson showed he can carry the load primarily amid 343 carries and 83 receptions over the past two seasons.
“It almost reminds me of before I got to the Patriots when they had Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen [in the early 2010s], and Danny Woodhead, Kevin Faulk and others were gone,” White said. “Back then it was like, ‘This is your backfield now.’ I feel like that’s the transition there now.”
Patriots Have Limited Experience After Rhamondre Stevenson
The Patriots looked poised to field to 1,000-yard backs before the release of James Robinson due to ongoing injury issues. If healthy, Robinson has a proven history of being a complementary second back with more than 160 carries in two of his first three seasons.
In addition, the Patriots have a significant drop-off in experience after Stevenson. The Patriots’ other backs in Ty Montgomery, who only has 260 career carries, amid split time at receiver. Pierre Strong Jr. and Kevin Harris are both second-year backup running backs.