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Jets agree to terms with former Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, AP source says

Running back Dalvin Cook watches a New York Jets practice session at the NFL football team's training facility in Florham Park, N.J., Sunday, July 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Running back Dalvin Cook watches a New York Jets practice session at the NFL football team’s training facility in Florham Park, N.J., Sunday, July 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

BY DENNIS WASZAK JR. by contributing

Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets’ offense just got another big-time playmaker.

Former Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Jets on Monday, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team hadn’t announced the agreement. NFL Network and ESPN first reported the deal is worth up to $8.6 million.

Cook, who turned 28 last week, has run for at least 1,000 yards in each of the past four seasons but was released by the Vikings on June 8 for salary cap savings. He was scheduled to count more than $14.1 million against the Vikings’ salary cap.


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After a few weeks of speculation about where he’d sign, Cook joins a revamped Jets offense led by Rodgers and coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and includes wide receiver Garrett Wilson, last season’s AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Cook visited with New York on July 30 and watched practice after saying during an interview on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” the Jets “are right at the top of the list” and the odds of signing with them were “pretty high.”

The former Florida State star also said in the interview he was interested in the Miami Dolphins and that it would be “a Cinderella story” to play for his hometown team.

Instead, he picked the Jets. And it’s another sign New York is going all-in to not only end the NFL’s longest postseason drought at 12 seasons, but to go deep into the playoffs.

“We’ll never say no to a great player,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said recently while confirming the team’s interest. “If the opportunity presents itself in the right way. So we’re excited about him and his visit.”

The Jets wanted to make sure his surgically repaired shoulder checked out OK during his visit.

“He’s dynamic,” Saleh said. “He’s a dynamic ball carrier. He’s been a dynamic ball carrier for a long time. He’s great in the passing game. And so it’s just a matter of, like I said, all the details of that. I’m not going to get too detailed, but you can’t say no to a good football player. They usually find a way.”

Cook, who’s third on Minnesota’s career rushing list with 5,993 yards after six seasons with the Vikings, joins Rodgers in New York after the former Green Bay quarterback was acquired by the Jets in April. Rodgers has made it clear since joining the Jets he thinks the team could make a deep playoff run.

And Cook agrees with his new quarterback.

“It’s a unique situation because I think they’re building something special over there,” Cook told ”Good Morning Football.” “When you look at it, you always want to be around a great QB, you always want to be around somebody you can pick his brain and just learn from. A-Rod is a four-time MVP. So, just being around a guy like that you can learn a lot more and just develop as a player.

“That’s what I’m looking to do.”

Cook also gives New York some insurance in the backfield with Breece Hall working his way back from a knee injury that cut short a promising rookie season. The Jets also have Michael Carter, Zonovan Knight, Damarea Crockett, fifth-round draft pick Israel Abanikanda and undrafted free agent Travis Dye at the position.

New York, which had one of the league’s least-productive offenses under coordinator Mike LaFleur the past two years, expects to see major improvement this season. Rodgers attended all of the Jets’ voluntary offseason workouts while helping Hackett install the offense in which the quarterback won his last two NFL MVP awards in Green Bay in 2020 and 2021.

Rodgers will have Wilson, Corey Davis, Mecole Hardman and former Packers teammates Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb at wide receiver, and C.J. Uzomah, Tyler Conklin and Jeremy Ruckert at tight end. Cook should complement them in the passing game while also boosting the running attack.

Cook has run for 47 touchdowns and also has 221 receptions for 1,794 yards and five scores out of the backfield. He has also made the Pro Bowl four straight years and started every game last season, a first for him in the pros — although his 4.4 yards per rush were a career low.

NOTES: The Jets signed DE Jalyn Holmes and placed DE Ifeadi Odenigbo on injured reserve. Holmes has spent time with the Bears, Giants, Saints and Vikings since being a fourth-round pick of Minnesota out of Ohio State in 2018. Odenigbo was signed by New York last month a few days into training camp.


AP Pro Football Writers Dave Campbell and Rob Maaddi contributed.