Trade Pitch Nets Browns $7 Million Pro Bowl Running Back

Dalvin Cook, Jets

Getty Running back Dalvin Cook of the New York Jets.

The Cleveland Browns are expected to consider trades for a running back ahead of the deadline and a new possibility has emerged via the New York Jets.

Analysts have floated Jets third-string RB Michael Carter as an option for Cleveland after the team added Dalvin Cook this summer. However, with the re-emergence of Breece Hall, it could be Cook who finds himself on the block.

Dianna Russini of The Athletic reported on Saturday, October 14, that the Jets “aren’t standing pat” and may look to be both buyers and sellers over the next couple of weeks.

“It’s possible the team is even open to dealing Dalvin Cook as the trade deadline gets closer,” Russini wrote.

Franchises have until October 31 to finalize deals before the NFL closes its trade market for the season.

Dalvin Cook Has Underperformed With Jets, Could Get Fresh Start With Browns

Dalvin Cook, Jets

GettyRunning back Dalvin Cook of the New York Jets runs with the ball during an NFL game against the Denver Broncos in October 2023.

Cook ended the 2022 campaign in the Pro Bowl, just as he had the previous three seasons. It appears, however, that the Minnesota Vikings cut bait with the running back at the perfect time, as Cook has struggled in New York.

Through five games this season, Cook has gained just 97 rushing yards on a career-low 2.7 yards per attempt. He has also made 8 catches for 44 yards but has failed to find the end zone as either a runner or a receiver, per Pro Football Reference.

Cook’s lack of production poses legitimate questions about his value as a trade chip. However, the loss of quarterback Aaron Rodgers has changed the way defenses are playing the Jets, which has impacted the running game. Hall was one of the better backs in the league last season and amassed only 83 total rushing yards across three games between Weeks 2-4.

Hall will be the feature back in New York for as long as he is healthy, which means Cook’s reps will be limited. It is possible that the 28-year-old has lost a step in his seventh NFL season. However, it is also possible that Cook can regain much of his previous form by getting an opportunity to start in a functioning offense.

Dalvin Cook Is Better Option as Lead Back Than Browns’ Jerome Ford

Jerome Ford, Browns

GettyRunning back Jerome Ford of the Cleveland Browns.

Whatever Cook’s performance ceiling is in 2023, it’s hard to make an argument that it doesn’t exceed that of current Browns’ starting running back Jerome Ford.

Ford has been a reasonably good pass-catcher out of the backfield this season with 13 grabs for 77 yards and 2 scores. His viability as Cleveland’s lead rusher, however, has been a different story.

The running back has amassed just 44 yards on 19 carries across two games since taking over full-time for the injured Nick Chubb. Recently returned rusher Kareem Hunt has fared no better, picking up 25 yards on 10 carries over that same span.

Cook rushed for north of 1,100 yards in each of the past four seasons and made an average of 42.5 catches across that run. He is under contract only through the end of 2023 on a $7 million deal, which would provide the Browns with flexibility at the end of the year.

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