Dalvin Cook visits with the Jets and watches practice as he considers his options

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Running back Dalvin Cook watches a New York Jets practice session at the NFL football team's training facility in Florham Park, N.J., Sunday, July 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Dalvin Cook got an up-close view of Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets while watching practice from the sideline Sunday.

The free agent running back has to see if he'll spend the rest of training camp in their backfield — or elsewhere.

Cook spent Sunday meeting with the Jets as he ponders the next stop of his playing career. The four-time Pro Bowl selection was released by the Vikings on June 8 for salary cap savings, according to a person familiar with Minnesota’s decision.

The Jets are the first team Cook has officially visited as a free agent, with his hometown Miami Dolphins also among possible suitors. New York also must consider whether to make him an offer before he leaves the team's practice facility.

Cook, who turns 28 on Aug. 10, was greeted by chants of “Dal-vin Cooook! Sign that contract!” from fans in the stands as he walked onto the field. He later responded to the post on X, formerly known as Twitter, with a green heart emoji.

Several Jets players, including Rodgers, greeted Cook and he spent a few moments chatting with owner Woody Johnson.

“He's a good young man, a very good young man,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said. “We didn't interact too much. There's a lot of stuff going on, especially when it's open to the public. But it was good to say hello.”

Cook has talked up the Jets in TV interviews in recent days, telling NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” on Friday they “are right at the top of the list” and the odds of him signing with them were “pretty high.”

“It’s a unique situation because I think they’re building something special over there,” Cook told "Good Morning Football” during the interview. “When you look at it, you always want to be around a great QB, you always want to be around somebody you can pick his brain and just learn from. A-Rod is a four-time MVP. So, just being around a guy like that you can learn a lot more and just develop as a player.

“That’s what I’m looking to do.”

He reiterated those comments Saturday during an interview with ESPN, saying he thinks "the coaching staff, I think everything about what they got going on, just says winning.”

But Cook, a former Florida State star, also said in the interview he was interested in the Dolphins and it would be “a Cinderella story” to play for his hometown team.

He was the guest of the Jets on Sunday, though. And now they have to wait to see if they offer Cook a deal and he accepts — or explores his options.

Both sides have expressed interest, and the Jets wanted Cook to take a physical to be sure his surgically repaired shoulder is healthy.

“That's pretty much it,” Saleh said. “Call it a meet and greet.”

Cook, who has run for at least 1,000 yards in each of the past four seasons, was scheduled to count more than $14.1 million against the Vikings’ salary cap before he was released. He's third on Minnesota’s career rushing list with 5,993 yards in six seasons.

With the Jets, Cook could give New York some insurance in the backfield with Breece Hall working his way back from a knee injury that cut short a promising rookie season. New York also has Michael Carter, Zonovan Knight, Damarea Crockett, fifth-round draft pick Israel Abanikanda and undrafted free agent Travis Dye at the position.

NOTES: Saleh said WR Garrett Wilson has a lower right ankle injury and the Jets are being cautious by holding him out of practice. Wilson appeared to have a slight limp and his right ankle was wrapped. ... WR Corey Davis remains out with an illness, but Saleh said he could return to practice Monday. ... WR Randall Cobb was activated from the physically unable to perform list and participated in practice. ... Saleh said the starters aren't expected to play Thursday night in the Hall of Fame game against Cleveland in Canton, Ohio. Among those players who will play include QB Zach Wilson and OT Mekhi Becton.


AP Pro Football Writers Dave Campbell and Rob Maaddi contributed.


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