However, the Jets decided not to move Cook before Tuesday’s trade deadline.
“Cook was intrigued by potentially playing for Baltimore or Dallas, I’m told, though neither team ever really entertained the perceived positional need at the deadline,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler wrote. “Cook just wants to play, and maybe New York can still help him with that.”
The Jets signed Cook this offseason to bolster their backfield, but he hasn’t played a huge role in recent weeks with the strong play of second-year running back Breece Hall.
Hall tore his ACL last season, and the Jets added Cook partially as an insurance policy in case Hall wasn’t at full strength to start this season. However, Hall has been great in 2023, averaging an NFL-best 5.7 yards per carry, and he’s found the end zone in three straight weeks for New York.
In the Jets’ last two games, Cook has received just five total carries, turning those touches into 17 rushing yards. Meanwhile, Hall has carried the ball 24 times across those two matchups.
It’s possible that Cook believed that there could’ve been a bigger role for him had he been traded to either Baltimore or Dallas on Tuesday.
The Ravens lost running back J.K. Dobbins for the season early on in the 2023 campaign, and they’ve been relying on Gus Edwards and Justice Hill to lead them at the running back position. Edwards has been solid for Baltimore, but injuries have limited him in recent seasons as well.
Edwards missed the entire 2021 season with a torn ACL before playing in just nine games last season. He has been healthy enough to play in all eight games for Baltimore in 2023.
Dallas, who has running back Tony Pollard, may have been a similar spot to New York where Cook would have played behind another running back. It’s possible that the Jets running back saw an opportunity for more touches in a high-powered Dallas offense.
In the offseason, Cook flirted with the idea of joining the Miami Dolphins, but he ultimately chose the Jets to play alongside Aaron Rodgers. Unfortunately for Cook and the Jets, Rodgers ruptured his Achilles in the team’s Week 1 game against the Buffalo Bills and has not played since.
The Minnesota Vikings released Cook this past offseason, but the veteran has been extremely productive in his NFL career.
Last season, Cook recorded his fourth straight 1,000-yard rushing campaign for the Vikings, but he did average the fewest yards per carry of his career (4.4). He ended up carrying the ball 264 times for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns.
Cook hasn’t made the impact he likely hoped for when he joined the Jets, but he still has a chance to be a key piece for the team down the stretch as it looks to secure a playoff spot in the AFC.