The New York Jets have signed veteran running back Dalvin Cook to a one-year deal that could be worth up to $8.6 million based on incentives for the upcoming season. Cook, who was cut by the Minnesota Vikings in the offseason to save cap space, was the top free agent on the open market before signing with the Jets. The 28-year-old underwent shoulder surgery in February to repair a torn labrum and is expected to join the Jets next week.
Cook has had an impressive career, posting four consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons with the Vikings, earning him four trips to the Pro Bowl. Over the last four seasons, only Derrick Henry from the Tennessee Titans has averaged more yards from scrimmage per game than Cook. Last season, Cook rushed 264 times for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns, averaging 4.4 yards per carry. He also added 39 receptions and two receiving touchdowns.
The Jets already had a strong backfield with Breece Hall, Michael Carter, and Zonovan Knight on the roster. Hall was an early favorite to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year before suffering a season-ending injury in Week 7. The Jets have made significant upgrades to their offense, including trading for quarterback Aaron Rodgers and signing veteran wide receiver Allen Lazard and speedy wide receiver and kick returner Mecole Hardman.
Despite the addition of Cook, the Jets’ futures market remains unchanged. They are still +270 odds to win the AFC East as the second favorite on the futures board. They are +1600 odds to win Super Bowl LVIII and +1000 odds to win their first AFC Championship since the AFL-NFL merger. The Jets were 7-10 last season, and fans expect the addition of Rodgers will propel the team to double-digit victories and their first playoff berth in over a decade. Oddsmakers have opened the Jets with a win total of 9.5 over/under this season, and they are -130 odds to make the playoffs according to DraftKings.
In the wake of these acquisitions, the Jets have become a popular pick after their offensive upgrades. Last season, they boasted the fourth-best scoring defense in the NFL, allowing only 18.6 points per game. However, they struggled to score points with an underwhelming offense, averaging only 17.4 points per game as the fourth-lowest scoring offense in the league. The Jets saw an initial bump in their overall futures after Rodgers joined the team, and another uptick in futures bets after the first episode of the popular reality series Hard Knocks debuted last week.