Robert Saleh and Jets remain coy regarding interest in 4x Pro Bowler Dalvin Cook

Jets remain coy in interest for Dalvin Cook
FILE – Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) runs on the field before an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, on Dec. 11, 2022. The Minnesota Vikings are parting ways with the star running back for salary cap savings after his fourth consecutive season surpassing the 1,000-yard rushing mark. Cook has been informed he will be released, a person familiar with the team’s decision told The Associated Press on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
AP Photos

FLORHAM PARK — There are not many years where a four-time Pro Bowl running back is available on the open market for the New York Jets. 

That’s the current case though with the Minnesota Vikings expected to release Dalvin Cook Friday afternoon after contract negotiations and trade talks have stalled over the last month. 

While a fit could certainly be seen between Cook’s services and the Jets, the organization is remaining coy in this overall interest. 

“We’ll turn the stones over on that, but that’s more of a Joe (Douglas) question,” head coach Robert Saleh said on Friday. The Jets coach acknowledged that the numbers would play a part in the team bringing in the former Florida St. product. 

It’s worth mentioning that Saleh’s comments appear far more receptive to bringing in Cook, than wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Earlier this week, the coach said he was confident in the overall receiver group when discussing the former All-Pro wideout. 

Cook has refused a restructured contract initially with the Vikings and has reportedly looked to gain over $10 million on the open market – a steep price for the running back position that has been devalued during free agency this year. Still, with Breece Hall recovering from a torn ACL, having top insurance back like Cook could be instrumental in the Jets ending a decade-long playoff drought. 

Cook is coming off a stretch of excellent football for Minnesota over the last four seasons. He’s totaled 6,000 yards rushing in six seasons in purple while carrying the ball under 1,300 times. He has only gone over 300 carries in a season once though. At 27 years old, there still appears to be a lack of tread on the tires for Cook that other running backs his age usually have. 

Other AFC East foes like the Dolphins and Bills are expected to have interest in Cook. New York has the most cap space out of all of them though with over $20 million.

Extensions for Quinnen Williams and Aaron Rodgers only complicate that process further. 

Hard Knocks and Joint Practices

The Jets are one of four teams eligible to be chosen for the training camp series of “Hard Knocks” even if the organization doesn’t want to be a part of the popular show. 

“I know of several teams that would love for Hard Knocks to be in their building, we’re just not one of them,” Saleh stated. 

New York does not have a real say in if they will be a part of the show. New Orleans, Chicago, and Washington are three other teams that can be forced into the Emmy-award-winning show. Teams can decline the selection if they check off the following criteria:

  • They have a first-year head coach in place. 
  • They have a playoff berth in the past two seasons. 
  • They have appeared on “Hard Knocks” in the past 10 years

The NFL has not officially announced which team would be featured during the show’s run during training camp and the preseason. 

Hard Knocks - NFL
The NFL has not announced which team will be featured on Hard KnocksWikimedia Commons

Speaking of the preseason, while the Jets have acknowledged that they are currently in talks with the Panthers and Buccaneers to run joint practices before their preseason contests, Saleh announced that the team would not partake in joint practices with the cross-town Giants this season. 

The New York teams ran joint practices last season and Saleh did not confirm the reason why the two teams would not do it again this year but said that Giants head coach Brian Daboll was aware of the decision. 

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