Imagine a Patriots backfield made up of Rhamondre Stevenson and Dalvin Cook, with up-and-coming Pierre Strong Jr. just waiting to build upon his performance against the Cardinals last year.
Just imagine that for a second.
On any other day, that would seem like the most hypothetical scenario for a Patriots fan to discuss, but it may just become a reality in the near future.
After being released from the Minnesota Vikings due to cap-saving reasons, Cook has immediately become a hot commodity on the free agent market. Like DeAndre Hopkins, though, the running back appears to be taking his time deciding what his future holds and is yet to take any visits or have formal conversations with teams that may be interested in signing him.
As it stands, Bill Belichick would have to decide who he'd rather sign if given the opportunity to add Cook or Hopkins. But as there always is, there are ways to manipulate the cap to sign them both if that's the direction Belichick would want to go in.
Considering it was recently reported the Patriots did extend an offer to Hopkins during his visit almost two weeks ago, Cook was a free agent at the time, and New England is yet to express interest in him, it seems like a far-fetched idea that Cook could land in Foxboro next season.
However, things change quickly in the NFL, especially when you're a team looking to get back on track and into the postseason.
So if the decision was made to pursue Cook AND Hopkins, a couple of good signs work in the Patriots' favor.
One positive is Cook's reported desire to play with Hopkins for the 2023 season. If that is indeed true, Belichick could sweeten the deal by guaranteeing that it could happen by signing them both.
Another positive for New England?
In recent days, Cook's social media activity shows the running back is not shutting down the idea of signing with the Patriots. We know other top free agents have expressed not wanting to play for Belichick or a team during a rebuild, but that doesn't appear to be the case with Cook.
His Twitter page also shows a retweet with a clip of Cook running against the Bills with the caption, "Dalvin Cook, you are a #Patriot."
It may not mean much, especially since he also interacts with tweets that have him going to other teams. Still, it's a good indication of the four-time Pro Bowler being open to signing with the Patriots, which isn't as easy to come by anymore.