NFL insider offers latest on Miami Dolphins’ pursuit of Dalvin Cook, who’s garnering ‘significant interest’ around league

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Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The fierce competition expected in the AFC East this season could already be heating up off the field with the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and New England Patriots all being linked to Dalvin Cook.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Cook is attracting “significant interest” as a free agent.

“You’ve got the Dolphins; he’s been linked to them,” Fowler said. “Teams I’ve talked to believe he wants to play in Miami, potentially. The Jets have injuries at running back. The Patriots just cut James Robinson; they could have a need. So, could be some action there up east.”

That doesn’t even mention the Buffalo Bills, who are reportedly a preferred landing spot for the 27-year-old. Fowler’s report reinforces the betting odds for Cook’s destination, which earlier this month had the Dolphins as the favorites followed by the Jets.

Wherever Cook winds up, he is expected to provide a team with a big boost on offense. He is coming off a fourth straight season with at least 1,100 rushing yards and a fifth straight season with at least 34 receptions.

Cook remains on the market more than two weeks after being let go by the Minnesota Vikings. He recently said money is not the only factor that will determine where he signs because he also wants to contend for a Super Bowl.

“The money gon’ come,” Cook said. “I’m not gonna go out and play for something crazy. It’s obviously gotta be reasonable to go play. But I think what’s gonna come down for me, which roster fit is best for Dalvin Cook to go help them win?

“And it’s a lot of great situations out there that I go can walk into and help somebody win some games. And that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m just trying to go put a ring on my finger, and I’ma play good football and let the chips fall where they lay.”

It’s been thought for quite some time that the Miami native and the Dolphins would be a perfect match, and he continues to speak highly about their offensive scheme and potential as a team. But Cook, who had shoulder surgery in February, also reportedly is not looking to give the Dolphins a substantial hometown discount, which may have opened the door for other teams.

Miami would certainly love to add him to a potent offensive attack headlined by receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle and led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

New York traded for Aaron Rodgers this offseason and could be looking to add a quality veteran running back as insurance in case Breece Hall is not fully recovered from an ACL injury he suffered last season.

New England has made the playoffs once in the past three seasons and lost running back Damian Harris to the Bills as a free agent this offseason. The team also recently let go of Robinson after signing him in March.

The Bills are not only one of the top contenders in the AFC but can also offer Cook the opportunity to share a backfield with his brother James.

It might take a little longer for Dalvin Cook to make a decision about where he wants to play, but it is looking likely it will be somewhere in the AFC East.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NFL for almost three decades. He has been an avid follower of the AFC East since the days of Bob Griese and is looking forward to an exciting new era in the division.