AFC East rival rumored to have interest in free agent Pro Bowl running back

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - New York Giants v Minnesota Vikings
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - New York Giants v Minnesota Vikings / David Berding/GettyImages

Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook is set to be released on Friday, and one of the Patriots' AFC East rivals, the Miami Dolphins, is rumored to have interest in the player. Not only that, it appears as if Cook has mutual interest in Miami as well.

This could end up being a nightmare scenario for the Patriots, as the Dolphins have added a ton of elite talent in the last calendar year and continue to do so. It's a classic case of the rich getting richer and they may not be done adding.

The New England Patriots' solid offseason seems to be greatly overshadowed by the New York Jets adding Aaron Rodgers among a slew of other free agents, and the Miami Dolphins adding Jalen Ramsey, Chosen (Robbie) Anderson, and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.

All of the Jets, Dolphins, and Bills have become genuine Super Bowl contenders, and the Patriots are kind of just there.

Aside from potentially adding DeAndre Hopkins, which doesn't look impossible, the Pats can't really do much do help their case in the AFC East this year, and the Miami Dolphins potentially adding Dalvin Cook to their already deep backfield would give the Pats and the rest of the AFC East another elite player to deal with.

Honestly, if the Patriots were in a weaker division, we'd be talking about this team being a Wild Card team or even competing for a division title, but they're simply being drowned out in this division. It's unfortunate for a team who needs to win, and win urgently.

Hopefully, the defensive prowess of Bill Belichick and the offensive competency of Bill O'Brien can mix together to form a team that plays with discipline and efficiency. The best case scenario, honestly, is the Patriots scratching and clawing their way to about nine wins and hoping they can side into one of the final Wild Card slots.

Perhaps the New England Patriots should be petty and try to sign Dalvin Cook just so the Miami Dolphins cannot.