Jets release Dalvin Cook after signing him as highest-paid free agent running back this offseason


The New York Jets released running back Dalvin Cook on Tuesday, ending a failed relationship with the team that made him the highest-paid free agent this offseason.

Cook hasn’t been burned much this season, as he was expected to split running back duties with Breece Hall, who returned from a torn ACL he suffered last season.

Instead, after quarterback Aaron Rodgers was injured just four plays into his first year with the club, Cook’s role with the Jets began to change.

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Dalvin Cook #33 of the New York Jets looks on during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on December 17, 2023 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Brandon Sloter/Sports Image/Getty Images)

Now, NFL Network reports that the four-time Pro Bowler will look to join a playoff contender as the NFL enters the final week of the regular season.

Cook, who was released by the Minnesota Vikings earlier this offseason, created quite a stir in Florham Park, New Jersey, when he visited the Jets with Rodgers already working out with his new teammates.

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It was an easy sell to join a team on the verge of a massive turnaround in production, as Rodgers was expected to revamp the offense while the Jets’ defense was already in place as one of the best groups in the NFL.

Cook ended up signing a one-year deal worth up to $8.6 million. He had a base of $7 million with $5.8 million guaranteed.

Dalvin Cook runs with the ball

Dalvin Cook #33 of the New York Jets avoids a tackle by Jonathan Greenard #52 of the Houston Texans during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium on December 10, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

However, once Rodgers went down, Cook’s usage in the backfield quickly declined as the team wanted to run through Hall, the team’s second-round pick from a year ago.

So Cook has just 214 rushing yards and 78 receiving yards in 15 games with the Jets, meaning he has minimal wear and tear for a team that may need a running back to strengthen the backfield in a hopeful Super Bowl run.

It’s been a strange year for Cook, who has totaled at least 1,100 rushing yards over the past four seasons with the Vikings. And at 28 years old, Cook still wants to show that he can make an impact on a team.

Dalvin Cook walks the field during warmups

Dalvin Cook #33 of the New York Jets warms up before an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium on October 1, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

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By releasing him now, the Jets are giving Cook a chance to look for a new home before the teams face win-or-go-home matchups in January.

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