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

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

Cook hasn’t gotten much burn 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‘ injury just four plays into his first year with the club, Cook’s role with the Jets started to change. 

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Dalvin Cook runs on field

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/Image Of Sport/Getty Images)

Now, NFL Network reports the four-time Pro Bowl back will aim to join a playoff contender as the NFL reaches the final week of the regular season.

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

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

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

Dalvin Cook runs with ball

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

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

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

It’s been an odd 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 prove that he can make an impact for a team. 

Dalvin Cook walks on field during warmups

Dalvin Cook #33 of the New York Jets warms up prior to 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 allowing Cook that opportunity to seek out a new home before teams face win-or-go-home matchups in January. 

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