The New York Jets have not quite gotten the production they hoped for from running back Dalvin Cook after signing the four-time Pro Bowler to a one-year deal.

With Breece Hall shouldering almost all of the load at the position, could the Jets look to deal Cook ahead of the NFL’s trade deadline?

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Why Moving Dalvin Cook Makes Sense

When New York signed Cook to a one-year deal worth up to $8.6 million in August, it looked poised to have one of the NFL’s top one-two punches at running back by combining him with the emerging Hall.

It hasn’t quite worked out that way so far this season. Hall has been the featured back with 66 carries for 426 yards and two touchdowns through six games, while Cook (39 carries for 109 yards) is only narrowly outpacing Zach Wilson as the team’s second-leading rusher.

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Although the Jets could certainly use more production at running back outside of Hall, it seems as though they won’t be getting it from Cook at this point.

Looking to move on from Cook could at least allow them to recoup some of their investment rather than watching him walk for nothing in free agency.

Best Fits for a Dalvin Cook Trade

Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns (4-2) seem likely to be part of conversations for just about any running back on the trade market at the moment, given their current state at the position.

Nick Chubb is expected to miss the remainder of the season after suffering a severe leg injury in a Week 2 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and while Jerome Ford has filled in serviceably as the featured back, he could also miss time now with an injury of his own. Then there’s Kareem Hunt, who delivered 10 carries for 31 yards and two scores last week while playing through a thigh injury.

Needless to say, Cleveland could do with some help at the position, whether that comes in the form of Cook, Derrick Henry, or another trade option.

Dealing for Cook could be more palatable than Henry or other targets given the former’s cheaper deal and a lack of production that could incentivize New York to sell low while it still can. It would be perhaps a bit of a gamble given Cook’s paltry numbers so far, but it could be a risk worth taking for the Browns.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3) present another intriguing potential landing spot for Cook, given the lack of production they’ve gotten from the running back position thus far.

Outside of Rachaad White (83 carries, 266 yards, and one TD), Tampa Bay does not have another running back with more than 32 yards on the season and has leaned heavily on Baker Mayfield to carry the offense, both with his arm and legs. Even White has not exactly been a world-beater at just 3.2 yards per carry and could benefit from having another productive back to spell him.

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Although losses each of the last two weeks could dampen the Bucs’ desire to be buyers at the trade deadline, they have shown enough potential to at least consider adding talent.

Cook is a potentially low-cost option who could help make up for Tampa Bay’s lack of running back production and take some of the workload off Mayfield by providing the offense with more balance and another dimension in the backfield.

Buffalo Bills

Although last week’s surprising loss to the New England Patriots has put a damper on the Buffalo Bills’ (4-3) start to the season, they still have the talent to be among the league’s contenders when the playoffs roll around.

Adding a threat like Cook to their running back room could provide an already potent offense with even more firepower. Josh Allen (1,841 passing yards, 148 rushing yards, 19 total TDs) has continued to produce early this season and connected often with wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis.

Dalvin’s younger brother James Cook has carried the load at running back with 88 carries for 419 yards and one touchdown, but Latavius Murray has seen inconsistent action behind him, and Damien Harris was recently placed on injured reserve after suffering a neck injury in a Week 6 win over the New York Giants.

Adding another proven option to the room in Dalvin could be attractive, particularly at a lower price, though perhaps the Jets would be hesitant to deal him to a division rival. Nonetheless, it remains an option worth exploring.

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