The NY Jets didn't have the most amazing free agent class in the 2023 offseason, as Allen Lazard has been the only name that has shown up despite some adverse quarterback circumstances. Mecole Hardman flopped so badly he was traded back to Kansas City, and Dalvin Cook could be next up.
When the Jets signed Cook to a one-year contract, they envisioned him and Breece Hall serving as a 1-2 punch next to Aaron Rodgers while Hall worked his way back to full health. Instead, Hall has seized control of Zach Wilson's offense while Cook has fallen almost entirely out of favor.
Despite that, New York may try to dangle him at the deadline in the hopes of recouping some draft capital. Jets head coach Robert Saleh did hint that Cook has been playing better on the field, but these comments could easily be read as trying to artificially juice Cook's value.
“If you really look at it and you say, ‘OK, the guy needs about four weeks of acclimation,’ that puts you around Week 5, which is Philadelphia,” Saleh said. “Where you start seeing him hit his top speeds, and his GPS numbers are improving.” Saleh is a quality coach but a bad liar.
NY Jets trying to pump up Dalvin Cook's trade value
Cook has 109 yards rushing on just 39 carries this season, good for a robust 2.8 yards per carry. He hasn't had a run longer than 10 yards all season long, and the Jets' offense has some of the worst EPA numbers in the league when he steps on the field. Simply put — he's bad.
Cook was never going to offer much as a blocker or receiver at this stage of his career, and the big play ability he became famous for with the Minnesota Vikings has eroded away. Any team who trades for him must have Icarus-like confidence in their ability to turn around struggling players.
There are contenders out there who need an RB2 that might be willing to flip a pick to the Jets in exchange for Cook. However, with so many better options available, Joe Douglas might find it difficult to get anything of value for a rapidly declining asset.
Between the fact the Jets have some degree of confidence in Michael Carter as an RB2 and the emergence of Hall as a premier back in this league, the case for holding onto Cook, vague GPS numbers be damned, is starting to rot away. A trade would be a miracle.