The New England Patriots' interest in Dalvin Cook continues to grow, and it appears they might be taking the next step in the recruiting process.

Cook is in discussions with the Patriots to set up a possible visit to New England, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Thursday.

The report comes on the heels of news breaking early Thursday morning that Cook is traveling to New York to visit with the Jets this upcoming weekend, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. So, any visit with the Patriots likely wouldn't come until at least early next week.

New England has been linked to the Pro Bowl running back pretty much since the Minnesota Vikings released him in early June. Cook initially showed interest in the Patriots on social media. When they lost the DeAndre Hopkins sweepstakes, some oddsmakers had New England as the favorite to land him.

Patriots director of player personnel Matt Groh confirmed the team's interest when speaking to reporters following Wednesday's training camp practice.

“We explore as many options as we can. Dalvin’s another player,” Groh said. “This is a really, really unique situation with [Hopkins and Cook hitting free agency]. You don’t typically have players of this caliber available at this time. The contracts that are signed for players right now are nowhere near in the neighborhood of the contracts that these players are generally expected to sign. Usually, these are all minimum guys.

“This is a unique situation and in any unique situation, I think everybody evaluates and looks at Dalvin. We saw first hand at Minnesota on Thanksgiving … Dalvin Cook's game and what he can do.”

New England has shown interest in other running backs over the last week or so. The Patriots hosted Leonard Fournette and Darrell Henderson Jr. for workouts last week, though no deal is imminent with either player, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss.

The Patriots haven't replaced James Robinson's spot on the roster since they released him in June, leaving them without a big question mark at running back depth behind Rhamondre Stevenson. They have a pair of veterans who haven't seen the field much in recent years (Ty Mongtomery and J.J. Taylor), plus a pair of second-year players who are unknowns (Pierre Strong Jr. and Kevin Harris).