As the regular season comes to a close, teams that have been eliminated from playoff contention will often grant the release of veteran players in the final year of their deals who are either sparsely used and or wish to join a contender.
Four-time Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook was the latest and most notable player who was released earlier this week after he and the New York Jets agreed to mutually part ways. If and when he officially clears waivers on Thursday, CBS Sports insider Josina Anderson reported on Wednesday that the Baltimore Ravens might potentially have interest in signing him to the practice squad “down the road.”
We’ll see tomorrow if RB Dalvin Cook clears waivers following his departure from the #Jets. My understanding is one team that may have potential interest down the road on the practice squad is the Baltimore #Ravens, though they did not have a spot available this morning. pic.twitter.com/n56e21xbu3— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) January 3, 2024
Cook’s’ short tenure with the Jets was just as underwhelming as the team as a whole after four-time league MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers was lost for the season after just four snaps. The 28-year-old was brought in to form of a backfield tandem with second-year pro Breece Hall but it never quite clicked. Dalvin carried the ball just 67 times for 214 rushing yards and caught 15 of his 20 targets for 78 receiving yards in 15 games that included one start. He averaged a meager 3.2 yards per carry and his longest run of the season was just 14 yards.
Cook didn’t join the team until training camp and while the Jets’ offensive line has performed poorly for most of the year, he just never looked like the same explosive playmaker he was during the first six years of his career with the Minnesota Vikings from 2017-2022.
The Ravens currently don’t have any practice squad spots open after bringing back undrafted rookie cornerback Jeremy Lucien on Tuesday. Teams can only carry 16 players on their practice squad rosters and Baltimore already has a pair of young running backs in undrafted rookie Owen Wright and third-year pro Jake Funk.
As far as the active roster, the Ravens lost both J.K. Dobbins and electric undrafted rookie Keaton Mitchell to season-ending injuries but still have a talented veteran backfield. They are led by Gus Edwards and Justice Hill and also feature another former multi-time Pro Bowler, Melvin Gordon, who scored his first touchdown of the season in Week 17 against the Miami Dolphins.
Never taking our foot off the gas ❗— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) January 1, 2024
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Gordon’s efficiency as a ball carrier with the Ravens has been just as lackluster as Cook’s with the Jets, averaging just 3.3 yards on 19 carries in three games. There’s also the fact that he has been on the team and in the offense since training camp so there’s no learning curve. He has clearly endeared himself to this team, as evidenced by how the sideline erupted after his seven-yard scoring run this past Sunday.
Having an experienced veteran insurance policy in case of injury for a team with championship aspirations isn’t a bad idea but the Ravens are well-stocked at running back. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t hurt to bring Cook in for a workout, he is clearly still in football shape having been on a team for the entire season, so doing due diligence could be a prelude to a potential signing if the need were to arise.