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NFL free agency/waiver wire: Browns could be an option for former star running back

Dalvin Cook has been waived by the Jets

NFL: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns are thinking about the NFL playoffs while most other teams are focused on Week 18 of the 2023 NFL regular season. Such is the beauty of clinching a playoff spot a week early.

The Browns season has been haunted by injury after injury starting with OL Jack Conklin and RB Nick Chubb in the first two weeks. While the team has pushed on to an 11-5 record and a playoff spot, the rushing attack hasn’t been the same without Chubb (and the team’s top three tackles).

RB Jerome Ford leads the team with 807 yards rushing but a low 4.0 yards per carry average.

As luck would have it, veteran RB Dalvin Cook is now available and, potentially, a fit for Cleveland’s needs. The veteran was so desperate to leave the New York Jets that he forfeit guaranteed salary for Week 18:

Cook has not been good this year with limited carries (67 carries, 214 yards, 0 TDs) but rushed for over 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns last year with the Minnesota Vikings.

Browns HC Kevin Stefanski was with the Vikings when they drafted Cook in the second round as was the team’s offensive coordinator for the running back’s first 1,000-yard season in 2019.

With the NFL trade deadline completed months ago, Cook must either make it through waivers for Cleveland to claim him or clear waivers and choose to sign with the Browns for a reunion with Stefanski to occur.

Should the Browns claim/sign Cook? Do you think he’s washed up or, like Joe Flacco/Elijah Moore, just a product of the Jets ineptitude this season?