Arbella Early Edition

Dalvin Cook to Pats? Breer and Giardi discuss the possibility

The Patriots reportedly have shown interest in the four-time Pro Bowl running back.

NBC Universal, Inc.

With DeAndre Hopkins off the market, the next best option in free agency for the New England Patriots is Dalvin Cook.

Cook is a four-time Pro Bowl running back coming off his fourth-straight season with more than 1,000 rushing yards. The soon-to-be 28-year-old rushed for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns while notching 39 catches for 295 yards and two TDs last year with the Minnesota Vikings.

Another dual-threat back to pair with Rhamondre Stevenson would be a major addition to New England's offense, but is Cook a realistic option? Are the reports of the Patriots' interest accurate?

Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer shared his insight on Thursday's "Arbella Early Edition" with Trenni Casey and Mike Giardi.

"I think that there is some interest in Dalvin Cook," Breer said. "And I think the idea is you want to add an offensive player somewhere. I don't think that they view a specific need at receiver, and I think there is one at running back. They'd like to add a back. But separate from that, I think the idea of adding somebody who, when you break the huddle, you have to worry about this guy, they'd like to add that to the offense.

"It was part of the equation with DeAndre Hopkins, and I think bringing in Dalvin Cook would have a way of killing two birds with one stone. You feel both the need at running back and for another offensive threat. So it's one I keep an eye on. They're going to have competition in the division for him. I think the Jets have kicked the tires on them a little bit, and the Dolphins too."

Breer expects that, as we saw with the Tennessee Titans outbidding the Patriots for Hopkins, money could be what keeps Cook from coming to Foxboro.

"The question I think with Cook is going to be whether you're willing to go to a second year with him and guarantee some of the money in the second year," Breer said. "And we've seen what happened when it came down to money in the DeAndre Hopkins situation."

Giardi believes while the Patriots should pay Cook, the chances of them giving him the contract he's looking for are slim.

"Absolutely you'd take him, right? He's still an explosive player," Giardi said. "You saw that against the Buffalo Bills last year when he ripped a long run off. He obviously can still play in the passing game as well, so he gives you a threat there. I think the question is money, and I don't ever see the Patriots wanting to pay a running back real money.

"So unless Dalvin Cook is willing to take less or his market is far suppressed from what he feels it should be, then no. You could throw a bunch of incentives at him, but I think he'll find a better deal somewhere else and put you in the same place where you're looking at your offensive skill position group and you're saying, 'Just not good enough.'"

It's unclear just how involved the Patriots are in the Cook sweepstakes, but they're doing their due diligence on free-agent running backs. They hosted ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette and former Los Angeles Rams RB Darrell Henderson for workouts on Wednesday.

For now, the running backs behind Stevenson on the Patriots' depth chart are Ty Montgomery, Pierre Strong, and Kevin Harris.

You can watch the full discussion between Breer, Casey, and Giardi in the video above.

Contact Us