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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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It’s rare to see a football fan’s vision board come to life. It’s even rarer for a New York fan. 

We’ve heard fans of the Knicks say they’ll get every big name on the market just to end up with fringe all-stars like Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson – no disrespect Jalen, you did great last season. We’ve seen the Brooklyn Nets, the Yankees and Mets consistently fail every year despite landing some huge names in free agency – albeit these players are usually past their prime and/or injury prone. We’ve seen the New York Giants make very little noise in the NFL world, even missing out on their former star player, Odell Beckham. Now, with the Jets adding a new star to the squad, has a New York team finally done it?

It’s been confirmed that ex-Minnesota Viking Dalvin Cook has joined “Gang Green” on a one-year deal worth up to $8.6 million. The idea has been considered all summer since Cook was released from his former team. It comes nearly four months after New York signed star quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Cook joins a loaded Jets backfield which consists of second year phenom Breece Hall, who recorded 463 yards and 4 touchdowns in only five games last season prior to a torn ACL. The running back room also includes Michael Carter and Zonovan “Bam” Knight who played great as replacements for Hall last season. There is no need to worry about how this running back situation pans out, however, as Aaron Rodgers has experience handling multiple stud running backs at once, which he did in Green Bay with Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. 

So, what kind of player did the Jets get in Dalvin Cook? He is a workhorse running back coming off his 4th straight 1,100+ rushing yard season, tallying 5,993 yards in his 6-year career. He has four Pro Bowl appearances and has accumulated 47 touchdowns as well. In the last five years, he ranks fourth in rushing yards and touchdowns amongst all NFL running backs. 

Cook can do damage in the passing game as well. He has 1,794 receiving yards and 5 receiving touchdowns on 221 receptions throughout his career. Cook is a bona fide superstar that the Jets should be more than excited to have.

If he’s this good, why would the Vikings release him? 

He’s one of the most injury-prone running backs in the league. In his rookie year he suffered a torn ACL ending what was a promising first four games. Since then, he has consistently been injured, only playing one full season last year, in which he played through a shoulder dislocation throughout most of the season. 

Injuries alone aren’t enough to release a star player. The Vikings have a promising young running back in Alexander Mattison who has put up elite numbers whenever Cook was out from injury. This made it easier for the team to part ways with the newly signed Jet. On top of this, Cook was a more expensive option. The Vikings saved nearly $9 million from cutting Cook, money that the Jets have to spare. 

It has been a long time coming for New York, but this new signing could be what finally puts them over the edge. This will be an exciting team to watch this season as they make a run for Super Bowl LVIII.

James Haupt
James Haupt
James Haupt is The Messenger Papers' weekly Sports Reporter and Staff Writer, covering everything from local little leagues to professional sports teams. James is also a full-time college student at Villanova University majoring in Journalism.