After months of speculation, DeAndre Hopkins is not going to the New England Patriots after all. He’ll be joining the Tennessee Titans instead, leaving the Patriots to lament their missed opportunity.
While the remaining free agents at wide receiver at pretty scarce, New England could still add a star player to its offense. That player would be Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook, who was released by the Minnesota Vikings earlier this offseason.
Dalvin Cook Patriots Rumors
With Hopkins off the board, the Patriots appear to be turning their attention to Cook. In fact, New England is currently the betting favorite to land Cook at DraftKings Sportsbook with +150 odds.
This isn’t terribly surprising, as the Patriots could easily just give Cook the money they were planning to spend on Hopkins. That alone makes this a bet worth taking, along with a couple of other reasons.
While New England doesn’t have an obvious need at running back given the presence of Rhamondre Stevenson, he and Cook would be quite the backfield duo. Stevenson could also help keep Cook fresh and healthy by reducing his workload, which seemed to work last year for Minnesota as Cook played a full season for the first time in his career.
Cook’s attempts and rushing yards per game have declined dramatically since 2020, indicating that he’s no longer an every-down back heading into his age-28 season. His yards per carry have declined in each of the last two years as well, which is further proof that Cook isn’t the elite tailback he used to be.
He’s still one of the better running backs in the league, however, and would fit nicely in the Patriots’ run-heavy scheme. With an underwhelming receiving corps once again, New England will likely need to rely on its ground game to move the ball. A tandem of Stevenson and Cook would undoubtedly be one of the best running back combos in the league and force opposing defenses to respect the run, opening things up for Mac Jones in the passing game.
With how loaded the AFC East is this year, New England needs all the help it can get. The Patriots can’t afford to miss out on Cook and still expect to compete with the high-powered offenses of the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets.
Bill Belichick is on the hot seat, too, so expect him to be more aggressive than usual and make a strong push for Cook. New England may have missed out on Hopkins, but Cook would be a pretty good consolation prize.
And remember, if you sign up for DraftKings Sportsbook through Chowder and Champions, you’ll be awarded a $150 GUARANTEED bonus after placing your first $5 wager – and it doesn’t matter whether that $5 bet wins or loses.