Two of the remaining top free agents have the AFC East on their radar. Is Dalvin Cook a lock to sign with the New York Jets? Will an Ezekiel Elliot visit with the New England Patriots lead to a deal? Those are two burning questions that created buzz for the two rival fanbases over the weekend.
Although both Cook and Elliot are at different stages of their career, both players can fulfill a team’s need and be a factor in 2023.
Obviously Cook is the more dynamic player and the running back who would create more buzz, especially if he signs with the New York Jets.
A backfield of Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook would give the Green & White a backfield to be reckoned with, especially with Aaron Rodgers now behind center. Cook would add pizazz to any backfield he joins, but he already appears in a New York state of mind prior to a visit with the team on Sunday.
Dalvin Cook signing with the Jets would shift power in the AFC East
Appearing on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football”, Cook feels the Jets are building something special and a deal is extremely possible.
"“I think [the odds] are pretty high, man,” Cook said, as transcribed by ESPN. “I think we’re in a position of, you know, a team that’s building something special, and I want to be part of something special as a player. I want to add to whatever they’ve got going on.“I think the possibility is high right now of getting things done.”"
While the Jets are already expected to be a factor in the AFC East, the addition of Cook would make them a bona fide playoff contender and certainly a threat to the Buffalo Bills for the division.
But one AFC East rival could interrupt those Big Apple dreams.
AFC East rumors: Ezekiel Elliot visits the Patriots
As unlikely as it is that the Patriots of all teams would outbid the Jets for Cook’s services, Bill Belichick always like to stick it to the Jets. However, the team may be already moving forward as Ezekiel Elliot was in the house on Saturday.
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Again, Elliot doesn’t have the star power he once had, but he is still a big name. Most importantly, he is a veteran who look good backing up Rhamondre Stevenson in New England.
And who knows, playing for Belichick may even rejuvenate the 28-year-old running back who is coming off a season in which he did rush for 876 yards and 12 touchdowns. He is far from being a washed player and should be more effective with less of a load.
Would this potential addition move the needle in the AFC East when it comes to the Patriots? It could as it would give the team a solid running back duo who can also catch the ball out of the backfield, which will benefit Mac Jones.
Like Cook, the question will be money and what a potential contract would look like. If the Patriots believe Elliot can help the team in 2023, he’ll end up in a Patriots’ uniform, especially at this stage in free agency. If the big money was out there for Elliot, one would assume he’d already be signed.