During their bye week, the Jets traded veteran wide receiver Mecole Hardman. Hardman, a free agent signing during the offseason, had struggled to carve out a role with the team.
There are rumors about two more veterans who have fallen out of favor with the coaching staff, and both made comments that will add fuel to trade speculation this week.
The Jets gave Dalvin Cook a lucrative one year contract during the summer. It hasn’t worked out. Cook is averaging only 2.8 yards per carry. He only had 3 rushing attempts in the Week 6 victory over the Eagles.
Cook has suggested he is seeking a trade.
Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook, admitting he's frustrated in a reduced role with the New York Jets, said Thursday he will speak to his agent and general manager Joe Douglas about the possibility of a trade.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 27, 2023
More via @RichCimini:https://t.co/3qQPrAarzZ
#Jets RB Dalvin Cook is confident that he’s the same exact player he was that ran for 1,100+ rushing yards the last 4 years.— Paul Andrew Esden Jr (@BoyGreen25) October 26, 2023
When a reporter asked him about that he responded what’s different? A reporter answered, less touches? ‘That’s it’
Said it’s hard to get going with… pic.twitter.com/pBG9C59erX
One of the risks with bringing in a star player near the end of their career is they aren’t always receptive to a reduced role. A player might say all the right things at the time of the signing. He might even honestly believe he’s ready to move into a less prominent role. Once things get going, though, it is a different story. Through his career, Cook has never had to worry about playing time. Even when he’s been in a slump, he knew the Vikings would stick with him.
That isn’t the case with the Jets. This team has an established star back in Breece Hall. If Cook doesn’t produce, he won't get on the field. It’s a difficult thing, but it’s right for the Jets. Right now he isn’t producing so he should see his carries reduced. It might be best for all parties to move on. That might be easier said than done, though. Running back is a young man’s position, and (at least by running back standards) Cook is up there is years.
Carl Lawson is another Jet who has seen his role reduced, and he is also making suggestions that a change of scenery could be best for all involved.
Carl Lawson, the subject of trade rumors, feels he deserves more playing time: “I’m a football player, I’m not a cheerleader.” He didn’t say he wants to be traded, but also didn’t say he’d be opposed to it. He believes he’s still capable of producing like he did last year. #Jets— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) October 26, 2023
Lawson has fallen out of favor. He hasn’t played more than 30 percent of defensive snaps in a game all season long and has twice been inactive.
You don’t want unhappy veterans in the locker room so deals could potentially be done just to avoid an uncomfortable situation, although the Jets might need to eat some salary to facilitate a deal. Lawson’s base salary would be prorated to his new team at $6 million,. Cook’s deal is heavily based roster bonuses accrued each week and might need to be restructured if the Jets were to take on more money.