Former Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott could join four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers at the New York Jets after the free agent running back whittled his options down to the AFC East team along with the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles.
Last week, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones confirmed Elliott was being released by the franchise with which the former Ohio State stud spent each of his seven NFL seasons so far. Dallas selected Elliott with the fourth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, and he led the league in rushing yards per game for three successive seasons between 2016 and 2018.
However, he endured a down season in 2022 and became the second-fiddle behind Tony Pollard in the Cowboys’ rushing attack meaning he is coming off career lows in rushing attempts, rushing yards and rushing average, although he did manage to score 12 touchdowns this past season. Assuming the money was right, Elliott had a number of suitors and he has narrowed it down to three preferred options.
Elliott has reportedly set his sights on playing for either the Jets, Bengals or Eagles - with suggestions he set to make a decision over his future by the end of next week. The Jets would be an intriguing option given the seemingly imminent arrival of Rodgers, with a number of stars now linked with the green half of New York.
On the Pat McAfee Show last Wednesday, Rodgers publicly announced his ‘intention’ to play for New York - but no deal has yet been struck between the Jets and the Packers. As the team continue to negotiate with the Packers, the Jets have added former Green Bay wideout Allen Lazard and ex Kansas City Chiefs star Mecole Hardman in free agency to join Garrett Wilson and Corey Davis in their receiver room.
Robert Saleh’s side have also been linked with a move for Odell Beckham Jr. as the 30-year-old decides his next destination after missing the entire 2022 campaign. If Elliott is added to the mix, the Jets could well possess one of the most exciting offences in the league.
Elliott would also undoubtedly be a headline signing for the Eagles given their bitter rivalry with the Cowboys. Philadelphia once signed former Cowboys’ running back DeMarco Murray after Dallas let the 2014 Offensive Player of the Year go.
The 27-year-old could also join the Bengals - and there would be a familiar face in the building. When Elliott was at Ohio State, he shared the locker room with Joe Burrow in 2015 before the quarterback transferred to LSU.
Elliott departed the Cowboys as his production sharply declined amid an expensive contract. In 2019, Elliott signed a six-year contract extension worth $90million and his release is expected to save the Cowboys more than $10m, according to Over The Cap.
Elliott is one of the best running backs in the Cowboys’ storied history. He has racked up 8,262 rushing yards in his career, which places him third on the all-time list in rushing for the franchise behind a pair of Hall of Famers in Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett