NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero revealed that Cook preferred the Jets to the Dolphins because of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. New York acquired the former league MVP in a trade with Green Bay this offseason, giving the Jets a much better outlook for the 2023 campaign.
“I think that everybody initially was connecting Cook to the Miami Dolphins,” Pelissero said. “And the Dolphins were certainly involved throughout the process. They would have gladly added Cook to their team. But going back even a month or so before Cook was released, I had heard that Dalvin’s priority – because at that point he knew he was not going to be a Minnesota Viking – was to land in New York and team up with Aaron Rodgers, his old NFC North rival, to try to win the Super Bowl. Nothing ended up progressing in the spring in terms of a trade, so Dalvin ends up getting released. The Denver Broncos were involved. The New England Patriots made a run at Cook. And again, the Dolphins were involved throughout the process. But what Dalvin wanted was that opportunity to team up with Rodgers.”
It seems like Miami never really had a real shot at Cook since he wanted to play with Rodgers so badly. Rodgers and Cook faced off for several seasons while the star quarterback was a member of the Green Bay Packers and Cook was still in Minnesota.
It’s a tough pill to swallow for Miami, as now the team will have to face Cook two times a season instead of having him on the roster.
The Dolphins will move forward with Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr., Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed and 2023 draft pick De’Von Achane at the running back position.
That’s still a solid group to have, especially since Miami reportedly has a lot of faith in Achane. It was recently reported that the team believes he can be a three-down back. The rookie is also drawing comparisons to Tennessee Titans legend Chris Johnson.
Still, losing out on a proven veteran like Cook certainly hurts. Cook should form a solid duo with young Jets running back Breece Hall – a second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft – this season.
Last season, Cook recorded his fourth straight 1,000-yard rushing campaign for the Vikings, but he did average the fewest yards per carry of his career (4.4). He ended up carrying the ball 264 times for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns.
In a smaller role alongside Hall, it’s possible that Cook finds a new gear. He’s been one of the most consistent backs in the league for several seasons.
Rodgers has a much better career pedigree than Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and won multiple MVP awards, but it’s still possible that the Dolphins finish above the Jets this season.
Tagovailoa is coming off the best season of his NFL career, and he’ll have a chance to show Cook that he chose the wrong quarterback.