The two Jets, who were rumored to be on the trade bloc, both carefully answered questions about their future prospects on Thursday.
Neither running back Dalvin Cook nor edge rusher Carl Lawson would say they want to be traded, but both sounded upset about their reduced roles this season and open to an opportunity to play more elsewhere.
“For me, I leave the business side to the business,” Cook said. “I’ll be ready, man. Every day I go out there I work my ass off. I do the things I need to do to be ready when my number is called and to be ready to perform.”
After signing a $7 million contract with the Jets in August, Cook has barely touched the ball.
He has 39 carries for 109 yards and nine catches for 46 yards.
This came after four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons with the Vikings for Cook.
“It was obviously a different situation for me,” Cook said. “Just coming from where I come from, just being productive in this league without getting as many touches and stuff like that. Just adapt. You’re still sharpening your iron. This is what I do every day. I prepare just like I do every other year. It’s still the same for me. It’s just that game day is a little different.”
Cook said he wouldn’t go to Jets GM Joe Douglas and ask for a trade, but admitted he was frustrated.
“Obviously it’s frustrating,” Cook said. “I am a honest person. I want to play. Yes, it’s frustrating. It’s new for me. I get from getting the ball 20 times a game or however many times. Yes, of course it’s frustrating.”
Lawson has played even less than Cook.
He was inactive for two games and played just 17 percent of the snaps.
Lawson, a big free agent signing in 2021, is now a role player on defense.
“I definitely want to play and contribute because I know I can,” Lawson said. “I proved that. I always want to contribute. But right now I’m with the Jets. I definitely want to play more. I definitely want to do what I did last year and more. After a double Achilles tendon tear, I was able to show good numbers. I feel like I can do more.”
Like Cook, Lawson wouldn’t say he wants to be traded, but he sounded like a player who knows his days with the Jets are numbered.
When offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was asked what he saw during his self-scouting on the bye week, he offered a blunt assessment of the offense: “We were bad in the red zone and we were bad on third down.”
RG Joe Tippmann (quad) did not practice on Thursday and is unlikely to play on Sunday.
CBs Sauce Gardner and DJ Reed remain in the concussion protocol, but both practiced fully on Thursday and should be cleared by Sunday.