Since being released by the Vikings back in early-June, veteran running back Dalvin Cook has been a bit hush-hush about his free agency. Rumors and speculations have come from all over without any hint of how much was true, but today, during an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, Cook informed Patrick that “probably about five” teams have shown legitimate interest in acquiring his talents.
As soon as Cook was released, early speculation was pointed at his hometown Dolphins and the Broncos. It was established fairly soon after that Denver was unlikely to bring Cook aboard. The team apparently felt confident in a 1-2 punch of the recovering Javonte Williams and career-RB2 Samaje Perine. There seemed to be quite a bit of back and forth between Cook and Miami, but in the end, the Dolphins never gave Cook an offer worth taking.
As the weeks rolled on with no deal, two other AFC East teams entered the fold as the Jets and Patriots began to show interest. Both teams have been active in adding new talent this offseason. The Patriots added JuJu Smith-Schuster to their wide receiving corps and seemingly finished second in the DeAndre Hopkins sweepstakes. Adding Cook to a backfield led by Rhamondre Stevenson could be extremely attractive for new Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien.
New York added wide receivers Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman, and Randall Cobb to a corps that already rostered Garrett Wilson and Corey Davis. All these weapons were brought in to provide new quarterback Aaron Rodgers with a strong offensive cast. They do have a solid, if not unproven, group of running backs in Breece Hall, Michael Carter, and rookie Israel Abanikanda. Adding a veteran like Cook could be beneficial for the room, but it certainly isn’t a necessity. Cook is set to visit the Jets this Sunday.
So, who are the five teams? Assuming the Broncos, who ruled themselves out early, aren’t on the list, the Dolphins, Jets, and Patriots should make up three of those teams. The fourth AFC East team, the Bills, was mentioned as a possibility as Cook entertained the idea of playing with his little brother, James, according to Zach Dimmitt of Sports Illustrated.
It’s unclear who the fifth team would be. Our early speculations listed the Ravens, Bengals, Browns, Cowboys, Buccaneers, and Commanders as early possibilities, but no serious interest has been reported from any of these teams. Regardless of who the fifth suitor happens to be, it still seems like there is at least an 80 percent chance that Cook ends up in the AFC East.