2020 has been a very strange year. We still can’t go shopping without rocking a sock on our faces, and people are talking about replacing police with more school funding (so in 10-15 years current students can write great research papers about how every other generation were murdered). That surreal feeling extends to our beloved Vikings, who I think should be disbanded and replaced with a beach volleyball team.
I am joking. They can’t disband the Vikings, then what would men whose wives are friends have surface level conversations about after their wives say, “X meet Y, he also likes
that one thing you like” as if we’re on a play date with more alcohol consumption.
The surreal nature of this off-season where people stopped buying Corona beer or Adam Thielen jerseys thanks to COVID-19 started, well with the COVID stuff tossing the state of pro sports into this weird limbo state, and really took off when the team traded away Stefon Diggs to Buffalo and Adam Thielen started chugging Corona.
The weirdness (which is a nice way to say awfulness) took another turn when it was announced that another one of the Vikings’ star players in Dalvin Cook literally started the earliest holdout in NFL history.
“Hey, #VikingsNation, just a heads up that I’ll be holding out in 2023, but not 2024!”
That news sent Vikings Twitter/Reddit/grown man play dates (see above… or across the room from you right now as you nervously scan this article for some sort of conversation starter) into a tizzy. For good reason. It was only a few months ago when we thought, sure the team was in a rebuild of sorts but at least they’ve got many of their young core (Barr/Kendricks/Diggs/Thielen, etc.) locked down until my holdout year of 2023!
Not only that, but thanks to the moves they did make in terms of their Red Wedding early off-season salary cap moves, they’d be able to extend Dalvin Cook and Kirk Cousins!
Those were some fun times.
I am pleased to say, though, that I do have some good news in that regard (and by news I mean a measured estimation)!
Dalvin Cook will be ready to go Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season. How do I know that?
Because of the following blurb from SportsIllustrated.com’s Albert Breer, who summed things up thusly:
“The league used to require a player report 30 days before the opener to get the season credited toward free agency (you need four to be unrestricted). Now, players have to report to camp on time or they lose it. And the daily fines for holdouts are up from $40,000 to $50,000. Cook, by the way, is set to make $1.33 million this year. That means a 27-day holdout would put him in the red for the entire season, plus he’d be a restricted, rather than unrestricted, free agent in 2021. So at the very least, a holdout would bring massive risk with it for Cook, like it would for most players. And laying that out shows why it’s not hard to see why the owners push for these things in negotiation—because they’ve always craved control over the work force.”
That means that Cook would have lost his entire 2020 salary before the season really even begins.
That’s why people have said that the Vikings hold all the cards in this situation and it’s also why Cook started his holdout before the literal summer solstice. Because he knows he can’t afford to when there are actually things to holdout/miss, so he wants to create this feeling that he’s held out for MONTHS when in actuality everyone on the team must also be holding out because they’re also, you know, enjoying the off-season.
When you look at it that way…
I was going to say it should make us feel better, and I do believe that. However, it is still very strange and par for the course in 2020.
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