Jets waiving RB Dalvin Cook with one game remaining

ByABC News
January 2, 2024, 2:59 PM

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. --  Dalvin Cook's disappointing season with the New York Jets came to a premature end Tuesday, as the four-time Pro Bowl running back was waived with one game remaining, according to his agency.

The move was mutually agreed upon, according to a source, and will allow Cook to catch on with a playoff team. He also restructured his contract to forfeit remaining guarantees, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Cook's playing time had been shrinking for weeks, and it hit rock bottom Thursday night in Cleveland, where he was in uniform but didn't play a single snap in the Jets' 37-20 loss to the Browns -- a career first.

The next day, coach Robert Saleh praised Cook for his professionalism through "a hard season," adding, "You know when a player is hurting, and I know he's hurting. But his story is not over."

Cook, 28, will be subject to a 24-hour waiver period.

In the 15 games in which he played, Cook carried the ball only 67 times for 214 yards, a 3.2-yard average -- 1.4 yards below his career mark. He played only 202 snaps on offense, his lowest tally since his injury-shortened rookie year with the Minnesota Vikings in 2017.

"For any guy that has produced in this league, it's frustrating," Cook told ESPN on Dec. 3. "You want to be productive." He also said that he didn't regret his decision to sign with the Jets and that he wasn't interested in asking for his release.

Cook's free agent recruitment was one of the bigger stories of the summer, with the Jets finally landing him Aug. 14. It was a one-year, $7 million contract, including $5.8 million in guarantees. He said he picked the Jets because of the opportunity to play with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who wound up suffering a season-ending Achilles tear on the fourth play of the season.

Before Rodgers' injury, Cook was perceived as the final piece in a potential Super Bowl puzzle. He predicted that he and Breece Hall would be the top running back tandem in the league. The plan was to have Cook receive the bulk of the carries through the early portion of the season, allowing Hall to ease into the season as he recovered from 2022 ACL surgery.

The plan changed quickly, as Hall proved to be ahead of schedule. Cook rushed 13 times in Week 1, then didn't hit double digits for the remainder of the season. He played only five snaps in the Week 16 win over the Washington Commanders and then no snaps against the Browns.

In recent weeks, the Jets (6-10), eliminated from playoff contention, began using rookie Israel Abanikanda as Hall's backup, leaving Cook with no role despite his accomplished résumé. In seven seasons, including six with the Vikings, he has 6,207 yards and 47 rushing touchdowns. In his Dec. 3 interview, Cook spoke of his time with the Jets in the past tense.

"I was hoping just to be in the right situation for me," he said. "... I want an opportunity. I feel great. My body is ready to roll. I was just hoping for a great opportunity."