HomeSportsThe arrival of Dalvin Cook confirms that times have changed for Jets

The arrival of Dalvin Cook confirms that times have changed for Jets

December 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) looks on after the game against the Indianapolis Colts at US Bank Stadium. With the win, the Minnesota Vikings clinched the NFC North. / Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not that long ago. The Jets had just rented Adam Gasethey had a GM in Mike Maccagnan with deep pockets, and they wanted to make splashes – plural – in free choice.

The first had to be linebacker Anthony Barruntil he broke his verbal agreement to return to Minnesota. Then came CJ Mosley, but it wasn’t until after the Jets offered him so much money that even the Ravens told him to take it. Finally there was LeVeon Bellwho used Gang Green against themselves to drive up the price.

It was the Jets Tax — the only way to bring significant players to Florham Park.

What a strange concept these days.

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The Jets are suddenly a team that players want to play for, the latest being Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cookwho signed with New York on Monday.

Call it the Jets tax return.

There is no doubt that all this does not happen if there is not for it Aaron Rogersarrival, but this culture rebranding was a long time coming. Joe Douglas started the big task when he replaced Maccagnan after that ill-advised off-season. He replaced Gase Robert Saleh after two years.

Douglas was still overpaying for the guys he wanted — Gotham City wasn’t built in a day, but each addition brought New York a little bit closer to where they wanted to be.

Then this year came Rodgers, whose words on The Pat McAfee Show completed the Jets’ turnaround. Allen Lazard, Michael Hardman and others followed suit. Now you have Cook, who chose the Jets over teams like the Miami Dolphins.

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Imagine that? Barr once said he got “cold sweats” and his “belly dropped” at the thought of joining the Jets. Now, four years later, you choose Cook to live in the green for a year in South Beach.

It should be noted that the Jets did not sign a prime Adrian Peterson on Monday. There’s a reason Cook was there on August 14. He’s only 28, but an old 28 – more than 1,500 touches in his six seasons with the Vikings.

He was a four-time Pro Bowler. He was once one of the best in the game. It’s hard to believe he’s still the same guy, but that’s fine, the Jets don’t need him.

Gase was against the Jets chasing Bell in 2019 because he saw the back end as a “icing on the cake” addition – the guy you add when you’ve got everything else. The Jets finally got everything else. They saw this as an opportunity to add another good player – who Cook, even though he’s not who he once was, is still good – to a roster with Super Bowl ambitions.

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It’s still hard to understand how far this team has come. They were a joke not long ago, embarrassment. There was the almost winless season in 2020. There were the problems with Zak Wilson. Not only were the Jets mocked on SNL, but Ted Lasso was. A once proud franchise delivered a punchline.

The Jets still haven’t achieved anything. Positive press and favorable headlines are better than what happened, but none of that matters until they take the field and win.

They still need to strengthen their offensive line, where tackle position looks particularly questionable, to legitimately push the Chiefs, Bills and Bengals into the AFC.

But times don’t change, they have changed, and Cook’s arrival confirms that.

Same old Jets? Not off the field.

Now they just have to prove it.

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