Frustrated Dalvin Cook to talk to agent, Jets GM about trade

Rich CiminiESPN Staff WriterOct 26, 2023, 07:15 PM ET3 Minute Read

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook, admitting he’s frustrated in a reduced role with the New York Jets, said Thursday he will speak to his agent and general manager Joe Douglas about the possibility of a trade.

Cook, who had only three carries for 12 yards in the Jets’ last game — a Week 6 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles — has been the subject of trade speculation. The trade deadline is Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.

“It’s something I can’t control, that my name is being floated around in trade rumors,” he said. “It might be a good thing. Maybe [it’s] a bad thing.”

When Cook signed a one-year, $7 million contract in August, two months after being released by the Minnesota Vikings, he predicted he and Breece Hall would be the best running back duo in the NFL. It hasn’t worked out that way. Hall is averaging a league-leading 6.5 yards per carry, while Cook ranks 44th out of 44 qualified ball carriers with a 2.8-yard mark.

“Of course it’s frustrating,” Cook said. “I’m an honest person, man. I work. I want to play. That’s just anyway. And, yeah, it’s frustrating. It’s new for me. I come from getting the ball 20 times a game, or however many times. Of course it’s frustrating. It’s something that I’ve been adapting to.”

Cook, 28, believes he’s the same player who produced four straight rushing seasons of at least 1,100 yards with the Vikings, making four Pro Bowls. But his touches have been limited, in part, because Hall has returned from 2022 ACL surgery more quickly and better than anticipated. Cook rushed 13 times in the season opener, but his numbers have dropped.

In six games, he has only 39 carries for 109 yards and no touchdowns. He hasn’t broken a run longer than 10 yards. “If you watch my career, the type of back I am, I get better and better as the game goes on,” he said.

Cook said he thought “teaming up with Breece would be the best thing in the world for the New York Jets.” He didn’t have specific expectations in terms of carries but thought it would be more than his current workload.

“We all thought it was going to be more than what it is,” he said. “But I wasn’t thinking of a percentage of him getting the ball or me getting the ball. I wasn’t thinking like that. I just thought … the touches will get spread around.”

Cook’s contract could be a deterrent to potential suitors. He makes $262,222 for every game he’s on the 53-man roster and another $70,588 for every game he’s active. That’s a potential price tag of $3.3 million for the remainder of the season.

Coach Robert Saleh praised Cook for maintaining a good attitude in what he called a “tough” situation, going from a longtime starter to backup. Saleh said Cook, who missed most of training camp as he recovered from offseason shoulder surgery, has looked better in recent weeks.

“I do think he’s getting his legs underneath him and I do think he’s running better with more violence, and looking more like himself,” Saleh said. “So, hopefully, we can continue to springboard that. It could be a good one-two punch, obviously, with Dalvin and Breece.”

Defensive end Carl Lawson, also in a diminished role, seemed open to a trade as well. He’s in the final year of his contract and due to make about $3.5 million for the remainder of the season. The former starter, a healthy scratch in two games, has only three tackles and no sacks.

Addressing trade rumors, Lawson said, “I definitely want to play and contribute. I know I can. I’ve proven that. Yeah, I always want to contribute, but right now I’m with the Jets, but I definitely want to play more. I definitely want to do what I did last year [seven sacks]. … I’m a football player, not a cheerleader.”

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