Jets Pushed to Cut $7 Million Veteran After Dismal Chiefs Performance

Robert Saleh, Jets

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh reacting in the middle of an NFL game.

The New York Jets signed free agent running back Dalvin Cook in hope that he could bring some juice to the team in 2023. It hasn’t worked out that way.

The former Minnesota Vikings star has been so disappointing that one analyst believes the team should simply cut its losses and move on.

The Buffalo Jet Fan shared the idea on X, previously Twitter: “The Jets should seriously consider releasing Dalvin Cook. It feels like we play with less downs because it’s an automatic 0-yard gain on his carries. Izzy [Israel Abanikanda] & MC [Michael Carter] can’t be worse. I think there are some small cap savings if we do. Great career, but he’s done.”

This tweet was shared after the Jets’ 23-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4.

Cook carried the ball five times for 16 yards on Sunday, October, 1. He averaged 3.2 yards per clip and his longest run of the night went for 5 yards. Cook also contributed a reception for 2 yards.

What Is the Plan With Cook and the Jets Moving Forward?

The Jets signed Cook to a one-year deal for $7 million this offseason. The contract he signed features $5.8 million in guarantees through his base salary and per-week active roster bonuses.

If Gang Green were to cut bait, they could save $917,644 in total weekly active roster bonuses and $3.6 million in total weekly bonuses for 53/IR/PUP. In total, the Jets would save about $4.7 million if they straight-up released Cook.

On the season, Cook has touched the ball 38 times (30 rushing attempts and 8 receptions) and with those touches, he is averaging 3.1 scrimmage yards.

Gang Green signed Cook to help alleviate the pressure on Breece Hall, who was returning from a torn ACL.

In theory, he would carry some of the early-season load so that the Jets could be patient with Hall’s comeback. From that perspective, Cook has been successful, but attendance and participation are low bars to clear.

Michael Nania of Jets X-Factor posted on X: “Dalvin Cook should not touch the ball again” along with a clip showing Cook missing a wide-open rushing lane against the Chiefs.

Jets Are Likely Going to Continue to Ride the Cook Train

I spoke with NFL analyst Will Parkinson on “Boy Green Daily” on Tuesday, October 3, and asked him about the complicated Cook situation.

“I don’t think they [the Jets] are going to outright cut [Cook] or something like that, but I still think Dalvin has a lot of speed, and I still think Dalvin in the open field can make somebody miss,” Parkinson said.

Historically speaking, general manager Joe Douglas hasn’t been willing to admit his mistakes early. A prime example is former Jets punter Braden Mann, who wasn’t good statistically, but the team continued to hold onto him.

People on social media speculated that he held onto Mann because he was a draft pick, suggesting that if Mann were a free agent signing or trade acquisition, perhaps Douglas would have dumped him sooner.

There would be a lot of egg on the Jets’ face if they cut Cook months after handing him the largest contract of any free agent running back this offseason.

While things haven’t been great to start, the Jets are going to hope that Cook eventually finds his form.

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