Could the Jets already be done with Dalvin Cook in 2023?

Former Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook has struggled in his first season with the New York Jets

New York Jets running back Dalvin Cook
New York Jets running back Dalvin Cook / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

We're only four games into the 2023 NFL season, but it seems like New York Jets fans are already done with former Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook.

In his first season with the Jets, Cook's production certainly hasn't been what many expected from him after New York signed him to a one-year contract worth $7 million in August.

In four games for the Jets this season, the former Vikings running back has carried the ball 30 times for just 74 rushing yards and no touchdowns, in addition to catching 8 passes for 44 yards.

PFF has him currently graded as the 47th-best running back in the NFL after four weeks, and it's mostly due to what he's done as a pass blocker this season. But New York didn't give him a bunch of money to come in and just be a pass blocker.

Speaking of money, some might not realize this, but the Jets could decide to release Cook in the near future, and they wouldn't be left with much of a financial penalty.

When New York signed him earlier this year, only $1.08 million of his contract was fully guaranteed. The rest of the money Cook can earn from the deal comes from being active for games, being a member of the roster, and statistical incentives.

So, let's say the Jets decide to move on from Cook after their next game. New York would free up a little over $4 million and be left with a dead cap of less than $2 million.

The amount of cap space the Jets would free up by releasing him would be slightly less if they waited until Week 7 to move one, and it would continue to decrease slightly for every week that he remains on their roster.


Realizing how much the Jets actually aren't required to pay Cook this year if he's not on the roster makes a potential mid-season departure from New York much more believable. Especially if he continues to struggle and fellow Jets running back Breece Hall continues to blow him out of the water in terms of performance.

Will Cook find a way out of his slump and remain with the Jets for the rest of the year, or will his performance continue to disappoint and result in New York moving on from him before the end of the 2023 season?

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