Dalvin Cook, Jets part ways: Top five landing spots as four-time Pro Bowl RB could join playoff contender

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THE New York Jets and veteran running back Dalvin Cook have mutually agreed to part ways before the Week 18 regular season finale, his agency said. NFL Media. CBS sports manager NFL Insider Jonathan Jones confirmed the move. With his release, Cook can now play for a playoff team and compete for a super bowl while New York's season ends Sunday against New England.

Cook also restructured his contract to waive his remaining guarantees, Jones reports.

Cook's tenure with the Jets was largely a forgotten period. After being released by the Minnesota Vikings During the offseason, the 28-year-old signed a one-year contract with the Jets in August, which seemed to be the icing on the cake of a seismic offseason marked by the acquisition of Aaron Rodgers. Of course, Rodgers' stint in 2023 lasted just four snaps before he tore his Achilles and sent New York's season into a tailspin that has them entering the final week of the season eliminated from the playoffs at 6-10.

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As for Cook, he had 16 touches in Week 1 but saw his role diminish as the season progressed. Game 1 was the only time during the year he received double-digit carries and currently only has 67 carries entering Week 18. He has played 50% of the offensive snaps during the week 1, then saw no more than 36% of offensive snaps going forward. . In October, before the trade deadline, Cook admitted that his lack of touches was “frustrating” and he was going to talk to general manager Joe Douglas about a possible trade, but no deal came to fruition.

In what turned out to be his final game with the Jets in Week 16 against Commanders, Cook only saw five snaps (6%). He was healthy last week in the loss to Cleveland.

With all of that in mind, the running back would provide a fresh pair of legs for any playoff team looking to bolster their backfield for a run at the Super Bowl. As for teams that could make sense for Cook, let's take a look at a handful of playoff contenders below.

Dalvin Cook Landing Points

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas was one of the teams initially expected to draft Cook upon his release from Minnesota, so it would make sense for them to re-enter the fray now that he's available again. This is especially true with the Cowboys running game which hasn't really found a solid rhythm this year with Tony Pollard opening the way. Dallas is averaging just 4.1 yards per carry this season and ranks outside the top 10 in the league in rushing yards per game. Cook could complement Pollard in the same way as the backfield duo they had Ezekiel Elliott.

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens lead the league in rushing yards and average 5.0 yards per carry, but there's a strong case for them to add a back like Cook before making the playoffs. The team lost running backs JK Dobbins And Keaton Mitchell throughout the year and relies on Gus Edwards And Justice Hill in recent weeks, in addition to getting contributions from the quarterback Lamar Jackson. Cook comes in and deepens what has been a depleted unit and joins a team that is very much in the conversation to win the Super Bowl.

Miami Dolphins

There may not be much of a need here, with the Dolphins already having De'Von Achane emerging, but Raheem Mostert – who has 21 total touchdowns this season – has been sidelined in recent weeks with knee and ankle injuries. While Mostert was limited in practice last Friday before being ruled out, if he's less than 100%, the addition of Cook – a Miami native – to the group could help strengthen this unit for the playoffs . However, if Cook is looking for more of a starring role, a return home may not be in the cards.

San Francisco 49ers

Christian McCaffrey is going to be the top dog in that backfield and everyone is going to play second fiddle, including Cook. So if he wants more carries, he'll have to look elsewhere. That said, Cook's motivation for landing with the Niners is to insert himself into a team-friendly offense under Kyle Shanahan and give himself arguably the best chance at winning the Super Bowl. For the 49ers, they just saw McCaffrey suffer slight calf tension this will prevent him from participating in the Week 18 finale against the Rams. Although the injury does not appear serious, it could motivate them to go further and cover their bases by adding Cook as insurance.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns would be a familiar situation for Cook as he would reunite with his former offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski. The coach was the Vikings OC in 2019 and Cook compiled 1,654 yards from scrimmage and 13 total touchdowns that year. The Browns managed to stay afloat out of the backfield after Nick Chubb's season-ending knee injury in Week 2 with Jerome Ford And Kareem Hunt carry the load, but Cook could be a piece that helps them go even further in the playoffs.

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