Running back Dalvin Cook of the New York Jets in the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, December 17, 2023. /CFP

Running back Dalvin Cook of the New York Jets in the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, December 17, 2023. /CFP

The New York Jets have waived their running back Dalvin Cook with one game left of the 2023 National Football League (NFL) regular season, according to his agent.

The Jets are currently 6-10 and third in the American Football Conference (AFC) East after losing seven of their past nine games. Cook joined the team on a one-year contract in August when the market was very unfriendly toward running backs. He completed 67 carries for 214 yards with no touchdown in 15 games.

When the Jets lost to the Cleveland Browns 37-20 on December 28, 2023, Cook was activated but didn’t play a single snap, which had never happened in his seven-year-long career.

“For any guy that has produced in this league, it’s frustrating,” Cook said of his underperformance to ESPN in early December 2023. “You want to be productive.”

However, it would be unfair to blame Cook alone for the underperformances of both him and the Jets. The team began the 2023 season with a big target after trading heavily for four-time NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP) quarterback (QB) Aaron Rodgers from the Denver Broncos. They landed Cook as the final piece of a Super Bowl champion candidate and Cook decided to join the Jets because of Rodgers.

Running back Dalvin Cook (C) of the New York Jets runs with the ball  in the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, December 17, 2023. /CFP

Running back Dalvin Cook (C) of the New York Jets runs with the ball in the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, December 17, 2023. /CFP

Running back Dalvin Cook (C) of the New York Jets runs with the ball in the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, December 17, 2023. /CFP

Nonetheless, Rodgers suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon rupture in his left ankle in his first game for the Jets on September 11, 2023. The incident ruined the team’s plans and led to their poor performance this season.

Though the Jets failed to qualify for the playoffs, Cook can still join a team for the postseason competitions after he was waived. He was a four-straight-time Pro Bowl selection in the Minnesota Vikings before joining the Jets and rushed for over 1,100 yards in every of those four seasons.

Put in the right system, Cook can still make contributions to a competitive team in the playoffs. “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.”

His one-year, $7 million deal with the Jets included $5.8 million of guaranteed money. According to ESPN, Cook restructured his contract to forfeit remaining guarantees to make it easier for a team to sign him after a 24-hour waiver period.

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