The NY Jets remain active in the free-agent running back market as they search for veteran depth behind the still-recovering Breece Hall. Dalvin Cook isn't the only player the team is reportedly eyeing, however.
The Athletic's Jeff Howe reported on Sunday that the Jets are "in on" former Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott. Howe's report insisted the New England Patriots remain "highly interested" in Elliott, while the Dallas Cowboys are also "in the mix" to re-sign their longtime running back.
A report from March suggested that the Jets were one of Elliott's three preferred destinations, although it was never confirmed that the interest was mutual. Now, it appears as though it is.
Following news of that initial report, Jets running backs Breece Hall and Michael Carter took to Twitter to seemingly express their dissatisfaction with the team's interest in Elliott. It's unclear if their thoughts on the matter have changed.
Ezekiel Elliott could be a contingency plan for the Jets if they miss on Dalvin Cook
The Jets remain the favorites to sign Cook after the four-time Pro Bowler visited with the team a week ago. While the visit didn't result in a contract, many around the NFL still believe a deal will be reached.
The Jets are looking to add some veteran depth behind Hall, with the former Iowa State star recovering from a torn ACL. Hall is expected to be ready for Week 1, but the Jets would prefer to ease him into a larger workload as the season progresses.
Cook is the top running back on the market, but players like Elliott, Leonard Fournette, and Kareem Hunt are all still looking for new homes. Elliott has a stronger resume than any free-agent running back not named Dalvin Cook.
The former All-Pro has twice led the NFL in rushing and was arguably the best running back in football just a few years ago. His production and efficiency have declined significantly in recent years, though — hence why he's still a free agent in early August.
If the Jets want to add a veteran running back, Cook does make sense and would be an upgrade. I'm not so sure the same could be said about Elliott, who averaged just 3.8 yards per carry last season.
Still, it's not a surprise to see the Jets showing interest in other veteran running backs. Elliott could be the team's contingency plan if they are unable to sign Cook.