Dalvin Cook

Why Ex-Patriots RB would be ‘surprised' if team signed Dalvin Cook

Bill Belichick apparently is a big believer in Rhamondre Stevenson.

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The Dalvin Cook hype train has left the station, but James White isn't hopping on board.

Cook sparked speculation over the weekend that he's interested in signing with the Patriots when he retweeted a clip from The Pat McAfee Show discussing why Cook would be a good fit in New England.

Cook also told ESPN's Adam Schefter he has interest in teaming up with fellow free agent DeAndre Hopkins, who recently met with the Patriots and reportedly is seriously considering signing with New England.

But former Patriots running back James White is skeptical that Cook will sign with the Patriots based on one primary reason: Rhamondre Stevenson.

"[Coach] Bill [Belichick] loves that guy, so he just has to capitalize on the opportunity," White told ESPN's Mike Reiss of Stevenson, adding that he'd be "surprised" if Cook signed with the Patriots.

While Cook has the more impressive resume -- four straight Pro Bowls and four straight 1,000-yard seasons -- White believes Stevenson is fully capable of being New England's bell-cow back after racking up nearly 1,500 total yards last season.

"It almost reminds me of before I got to the Patriots when they had Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen [in the early 2010s], and Danny Woodhead, Kevin Faulk and others were gone," White said. "Back then it was like, ‘This is your backfield now.’ I feel like that’s the transition there now.

The Patriots could benefit from a complementary third-down back; Ty Montgomery was supposed to serve in that role last season before injuries derailed his season, and second-year rushers Pierre Strong Jr. and Kevin Harris are both unproven. But unless Cook is willing to take a steep discount, it doesn't make sense to pay him significant money when Belichick can have Stevenson carry the load on a bargain contract ($1.1 million cap hit for 2023).

So, unless something happens to Stevenson before the regular season begins, don't expect Cook to land with New England -- regardless of his Twitter activity.

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