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Hours after the Patriots inked Ezekiel Elliott to a one-year contract, the Jets got their man.
New York agreed to a deal with Dalvin Cook on Monday, after multiple weeks of public flirtations including a successful visit by Cook to Jets camp.
Cook was released by the Vikings in June and primarily received interest from the AFC East. The hometown Dolphins were expected to be a frontrunner for Cook’s services, but they never pushed hard for the four-time Pro-Bowler and appear to be content with their deep backfield.
The Patriots, meanwhile, were known to be scouring the running back market. They settled on Elliott to serve as the change-of-pace back behind Rhamondre Stevenson.
With Cook in tow, the Jets will be able to give the veteran plenty of early-season touches and bring Breece Hall along slowly after last year’s ACL tear.
Here’s a closer look at Cook’s contract with the Jets.
Dalvin Cook contract details
The Jets gave Cook a one-year contract worth up to $8.6 million, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Dalvin Cook’s one-year deal with the #Jets is worth up to $8.6 million, per source, with the majority guaranteed. It’s the biggest deal signed by a free-agent RB in 2023. An elite playmaker headed to New York. https://t.co/mmqnb0q3oe
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 14, 2023
According to The Washington Post’s Mark Maske, Cook will receive a $7 million salary, with an additional $1.6 million available via incentives. Cook’s maximum value is $2.6 million more than Elliott’s deal with the Patriots, and his base salary is $3 million more than Elliott’s base salary plus signing bonus.
Dalvin Cook’s deal with the Jets is expected to pay him around $7 million in base income, plus incentives.
— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) August 14, 2023
Even at the minimum $7 million, Cook’s deal is the largest signed by a free-agent running back this offseason in terms of annual value. Miles Sanders signed a deal with the Panthers worth $6.25 million annually, while David Montgomery’s contract with the Lions comes in at $6 million annually.
Below is a look at the backs to sign for more than $3 million per season this offseason, per Spotrac.com:
|Dalvin Cook||$7 million||Jets|
|Miles Sanders||$6.25 million||Panthers|
|David Montgomery||$6 million||Lions|
|Ezekiel Elliott||$6 million||Cowboys|
|Jamaal Williams||$4 million||Lions|
|Samaje Perine||$3.75 million||Broncos|
|Alexander Mattison||$3.5 million||Vikings|
|Jeff Wilson Jr.||$3 million||Dolphins|
It’s been a difficult offseason for running backs, even beyond players who hit the open market. Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs both failed to reach long-term agreements with their respective teams after being franchise-tagged, though Barkley agreed to a revised one-year deal worth as much as $11 million.
Pelissero reported in June that Cook was “not coming in for $4 or $5 million” and would seek a “significant” contract. That turned out to be accurate, though it’s not clear whether this was actually the deal Cook was looking for when he first hit the open market.
Highest-paid NFL running backs
Below is a list of the NFL’s highest-paid running backs according to average annual base salary, per Spotrac.
Barkley and Cook both have more money available via incentives, as Barkley can make up to $11 million this season while Cook’s Jets deal is worth up to $8.6 million.
|Christian McCaffrey||$16 million||49ers|
|Alvin Kamara||$15 million||Saints|
|Derrick Henry||$12.5 million||Titans|
|Nick Chubb||$12.2 million||Browns|
|Aaron Jones||$12 million||Packers|
|Saquon Barkley||$10.1 million||Giants|
|Tony Pollard||$10.1 million||Cowboys|
|Josh Jacobs||$10.1 million||Raiders|
|Dalvin Cook||$7 million||Jets|
|James Conner||$7 million||Cardinals|
Cook slots in as the ninth-highest-paid running back in the NFL, with or without incentives. Only eight running backs are making more than $10 million annually, though three of them are playing on the franchise tag.
No running back has signed a contract worth more than $12 million annually since Nick Chubb inked a long-term deal with the Browns in July 2021.