Adam Schefter States the Obvious about Dalvin Cook

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Barring a dramatic change of heart about a paycut or a total shift from the Minnesota Vikings front office, running back Dalvin Cook is likely in his final weeks as a member of the franchise.

Cook is scheduled for a $14.1 million cap hit in 2023, a sum probably too rich for the blood of an organization run by an ‘analytics guy.’

Adam Schefter States the Obvious about Dalvin Cook

And while Vikings fans have begrudgingly warmed up to the idea of life without Cook, ESPN’s Adam Schefter stated the obvious about Cook’s situation last weekend.

Adam Schefter States
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Talking about Cook’s status Sunday, Schefter opined, “I think there is some real question as to whether or not he will be in Minnesota this upcoming season. I think it’s fair to say his future is in question.”

The Schefter musings rattled the rims of no one, as Cook has been a trade or release candidate for roughly two months. Minnesota re-signed RB2 Alexander Mattison to a two-year, $7 million contract extension in March, a move not entirely expected by the team’s fanbase. He’s likely on deck for RB1 duty with side dishes of Ty Chandler, rookie DeWayne McBride, and kick returner Kene Nwangwu.

Has Dalvin Cook Played
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The Cook rumor mill became loud about a week before free agency kicked off on March 13th. He was dropped onto the Miami Dolphins roster as a possible trade candidate, a reasonable fit as Miami is his hometown. But then nothing happened on the trade front, and the Dolphins re-signed a bunch of their 2022 tailbacks and drafted one (Devon Achane) nine days ago.

Then, many believed some kind of Cook trade would occur during the draft. That didn’t happen either. It’s all just a slow march to Cook’s inevitable exodus, assuming he doesn’t accept a paycut.

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If Adofo-Mensah releases Cook before June 1st, the club will save $5.9 million with an $8.2 million cap penalty. After that date, it’s $9 million in savings with a $5.1 million cap penalty. For a trade, sending Cook elsewhere before June 1st would save $7.8 million and fetch a mid-to-late round draft pick. Offloading Cook after June 1st via trade would save $11 million with a $3.1 million penalty. 

Therefore, if Adofo-Mensah cares about his budget — he probably does — parting ways with Cook after June 1st, so in about three weeks, makes the most sense.

During the Vikings pre-draft press conference last month, a reporter asked Adofo-Mensah about Cook’s future, and he replied, “Conversations are always ongoing with him. We’re trying to be solution-oriented always, trying to put the roster together within our constraints.”

The question was a layup, and Adofo-Mensah easily could’ve replied, “Cook is under contract with the Vikings at the moment.” But he didn’t do that, giving legs to the Cook-departure theories.

Cook ranks third in franchise history with 5,993 rushing yards.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by