Vikings’ running back Dalvin Cook will reportedly sit out of team activities until he and the team reach an extension.
A source told Adam Schefter of ESPN that “Cook no longer will participate in any team-related activities until and unless he receives a “reasonable” deal.” The source also noted that “Without a reasonable extension, he will not be showing up for camp or beyond.”
Pro-Bowl RB Dalvin Cook no longer will participate in any team-related activities until and unless he receives a “reasonable” deal, a source said Monday.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 8, 2020
“He’s out,” a source told ESPN. “Without a reasonable extension, he will not be showing up for camp or beyond.”
Courtney Cronin — also of ESPN — said in a tweet that a source told her Cook “will absolutely not play for the Vikings in 2020 without a new deal.”
Heading into the last year of his 4-year rookie contract, Cook is due to make a base salary of $1.331 million. His 2020 cap hit is currently $2,021,508.
Cronin said Cook could be seeking a contract that pays him north of $16 million per season. Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, who signed a record extension with Carolina in April, averages $16,015,853 per year — most among NFL backs. Cronin goes on to say that it seems the Vikings don’t want/can’t be in that ballpark.
While Cook has been one of the most elusive backs in the league when healthy, he’s also missed time due to injury in all three of his NFL seasons.
A 2017 second-round pick out of Florida State, Cook showed promise immediately as rookie. The Seminole’s all-time rushing leader came flying out of the gate in year one before suffering a torn ACL in Week 4. He would miss the rest of the season.
Recovering from the ailment may or may not have contributed to his injury-riddled 2018 campaign in which Cook missed six games to due hamstring complications. Still, he averaged 4.6 yards per carry in a “down” year.
Cook, 24, finally enjoyed a breakout season in 2019. In 14 games he ran for 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns. He added 53 receptions and 519 receiving yards through the air and earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl. Still, he dealt with a shoulder issue the second-half of the regular season and missed Week 16 due to a chest injury.
Cook was seventh in the NFL in yards from scrimmage last season. The Vikings’ offense relies heavily on the running game. But, he simply hasn’t been durable.
The Vikings drafted Alexander Mattison in the third round last season and the new CBA has made it more difficult for a player to successfully hold out at the end of their rookie contracts. Cook may not have a ton of leverage, but the Vikings may not want to let a player of Cook’s caliber remain away from the team for long.
At this point it seems like both parties are interested in reaching a long-term deal. Unless things get ugly the most interesting part of these negotiations may be how many years Cook gets extended and which party gets the upper-hand in contract terms.
Cronin thinks the two sides may be willing to agree on a deal similar to the one Arizona and David Johnson (now with the Houston Texans) agreed to in 2018. That contract was for 3 years, $39M. So, at first glance it seems the salary range of a possible Cook deal could be somewhere around $13-$16M/year.
The Vikings will have roughly $7 million in cap space following the signing of the 15-player 2020 draft class.