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NFL: Cook, Elliott deals add star quality to AFC East

Ezekiel Elliott

Two of the best remaining free agents have finally inked contracts for the upcoming NFL season, with Dalvin Cook joining the New York Jets and Ezekiel Elliott signing for the New England Patriots.

Both star running backs have secured one-year deals, with Cook potentially earning up to $8.6 million and Elliott potentially earning up to $6 million.

Cook, 28, has been one of the standout playmakers over the past half-decade.

Throughout his entire career spent in Minnesota, he achieved over 1,000 rushing yards in four consecutive seasons, accumulating 52 touchdowns during his six-year tenure.

However, with the Jets, his role may not be as central.

New York drafted Breece Hall early in the second round last year, and he managed to compile over 650 total yards and five touchdowns across seven games.

However, Hall sustained an ACL tear last year, and his health remains uncertain for the upcoming season.

While Hall recovers, Cook is expected to assume a significant workload. But once Hall is back in action, he is expected to reclaim the number one running back position.

NFL betting sites have Hall’s season-long rushing yardage line set at 850.5, while Cook’s is set at 600.5.

The Jets have captured significant attention in the offseason due to signings like Cook and, of course, Aaron Rodgers.

They stand at +1800 odds to clinch the Super Bowl, and despite a 7-10 finish last year, their season win line is set at 9.5.

On the other hand, the Patriots – divisional rivals of the Jets – have made a substantial move by acquiring Elliott.

In New England, Elliott is anticipated to assume a role akin to Cook’s, as the Patriots already boast a talented running back on their roster.

Like Cook, Elliott is 28 years old and has spent his entire career with one team – in his case, the Dallas Cowboys.

He has amassed an impressive 10,000-plus rushing yards over his seven-year tenure but has encountered reduced prominence in recent years, evident from his 876 rushing yards last season – albeit with 12 touchdowns.

Elliott is expected to seamlessly integrate with the existing starter, Rhamondre Stevenson, who burst onto the scene last year with just under 1,500 total yards and six touchdowns.

He particularly excelled in the receiving game, catching 69 passes from quarterback Mac Jones.

With Elliott’s arrival, Stevenson is expected to maintain his receiving role while conceding carries to the experienced runner.

The Patriots stand as +6000 underdogs in Super Bowl betting, with their win total set at 7.5.

Elliott’s rushing yardage line at 375.5, while Stevenson’s is set at 849.5.

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