Dalvin Cook headlines a group of quality running backs available for hire. He knows he has options.
But where could he land?
Miami is among the top destinations for Cook, a four-time Pro Bowler who was unceremoniously released by the Minnesota Vikings earlier in June. Miami is not, however, the only club Cook could consider joining in 2023.
"You know, a lot of people got me pegged going back home (to Miami). A lot of people got me going to the Jets," Cook said during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio. "It's all over the place right now, but what's gonna be important for me is just going to that right situation and helping somebody turn the page.
"I want to go and be the piece that can just help somebody win and get over the hump and whatever that situation comes with, if it comes with me taking less reps, but me being in the perfect situation to hold up that trophy, I don't mind. I just wanna go somewhere I can just get the ball and just help somebody win, and turn the next page."
The Dolphins aren't exactly short on running backs. Miami managed to retain both Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson in 2023, but there is certainly still room to add another running back. If Cook would join the Dolphins, he'd be the top back on the roster with ample support available.
Such support could be necessary for Cook, a running back who has received 249-plus carries in each of the last four seasons. He shouldered the rushing load for the Vikings in that span, which also had an effect on his physical condition, resulting in a nagging shoulder issue that caused Cook to miss two or more games in each season from 2019-2021.
Cook has since addressed his shoulder injury and believes he's free from any worry going forward.
"I got that done this offseason. I'd been playing with it for the last few years," Cook said. "It was one of those things where it was always in the back of my mind when I'd take a carry of how I can get through this next play and be productive. But now I just got it out the back of my mind and got it done. I'm right on schedule to go be ready to play, and I should be ready for training camp once my doctors clear me.
"I'm feeling great, I'm healthy, I've been training every day. So I'm ready to go, man. Just tightening up the screws and making sure this shoulder is locked in."
2022 was the first season in which he appeared in every regular-season game. It was also his last with the Vikings, who chose to release Cook after failing to find a trade partner.
Cook still carries plenty of value, and if he joins the Dolphins, he'd instantly improve their offense by providing a backfield hammer to balance a unit that already packs quite a punch through the air.
"Yeah, it's an exciting situation to go into when you got guys that can stretch the field on the outside," Cook said of Miami. "I think that defense is pretty solid to me. Tua [Tagovailoa], when he's out on the field, they got a winning a record. Like you said, as a running back you look for a certain scheme and I know the scheme that I'm good in, and that's outside zone, and that's what the Miami Dolphins run. So it's like, you know, it'd be a perfect fit. And the roster, like you said, speaks for itself."
He'd form one half of a premier backfield duo if he joined the Jets, who are looking forward to the return of running back Breece Hall, a dynamite runner who became an overnight star in his first year before a knee injury ended his debut season prematurely.
Regardless of fit, Cook knows he'll have options. It's only a matter of time before he ends up on a roster that will likely be strong enough to have realistic Super Bowl ambitions.
"The money gon' come. I'm not gonna go out and play for something crazy," Cook said. "It's obviously got to be reasonable to go play. But I think what it's gonna come down (to) for me is what roster fit is best for Dalvin Cook to go help them win, and it's a lot of great situations out there that I could go walk into and help somebody win some games. That's what I'm trying to do. I'm just trying to go put a ring on my finger and I'ma play good football and let the chips fall where they lay."