Dalvin Cook

Report: Dalvin Cook in talks with Patriots about free-agent visit

Both the Patriots and the Jets reportedly have shown "steady interest" in the Pro Bowl running back.

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New England Patriots director of player personnel Matt Groh wasn't just paying lip service when he was asked about Dalvin Cook on Wednesday, it appears.

The free-agent running back is "in talks" with the Patriots about setting up a potential visit to New England, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Thursday morning.

Cook reportedly is flying to New York on Thursday to meet with the Jets this weekend, so perhaps he'll try to stop by Foxboro while he's in the Northeast. The Miami Dolphins also reportedly are a serious suitor for Cook and actually made the 27-year-old a contract offer earlier this summer that Cook declined to accept.

The Patriots already have an elite running back in Rhamondre Stevenson, who amassed 1,461 total yards in 2022 (1,040 rushing, 421 receiving). They're thin on proven options behind Stevenson, however: Veteran Ty Montgomery appeared in just one game last season before suffering a season-ending injury, while Pierre Strong Jr. and Kevin Harris played sparingly as rookies.

New England reportedly hosted Leonard Fournette and Darrell Henderson for workouts this week, so the team is clearly in the market for running back depth, and Cook is by far the most talented RB on the market. Groh spoke highly of the four-time Pro Bowler on Wednesday, noting it's rare for players of his caliber to available at this point in the offseason.

"We explore as many options as we can. Dalvin’s another player," Groh said. "This is a really, really unique situation with both (DeAndre Hopkins and Cook). You don’t typically have players of this caliber available at this time. The contracts that are signed for players right now are nowhere near in the neighborhood of the contracts that these players are generally expected to sign. Usually these are all minimum guys.

"So, this is a unique situation, and any unique situation, I think everybody evaluates and looks at. With Dalvin, we saw first-hand last year in Minnesota on Thanksgiving what he can do."

The Jets appear to be very interested in Cook -- quarterback Aaron Rodgers reportedly took a significant pay cut to give New York more financial flexibility to sign a player of Cook's caliber -- so if Cook visits the Patriots, it could be just to create additional leverage in free agency. But if the talented running back makes it to New England to speak with Bill Belichick and Co., that will certainly be a notable development.

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