Another Dalvin Cook Rumor Sweetens the Pot

Asking Price Is
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Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook will likely be traded or released sometime early this summer. The club re-signed Alexander Mattison in March for two years and $7 million — so, you know, starter money.

Then, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah drafted UAB’s DeWayne McBride in Round 7 last month, a player who could’ve been a 3rd-Rounder or so 10 years ago. And Mattison + McBride are in addition to second-year tailback Ty Chandler and RB-KR Kene Nwangwu on the roster.

Another Dalvin Cook Rumor Sweetens the Pot

Indeed, the Cook rumor mill has spun over two months, and a release or trade should culminate after June 1st. If the Vikings release Cook before June 1st, the club would 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. A numbers crunch.

Another Dalvin Cook
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

And another team, after the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and Denver Broncos, to monitor early next month for a Cook landing spot is the Kansas City Chiefs, according to fringe sections of the rumor mill.

Last Word on Sports’ David Latham recently nominated Kansas City as a Cook destination and wrote, “This [trade or release] is all but inevitable. The Minnesota Vikings are still fielding calls for Dalvin Cook, and the team has no reason to keep him around. While he is still a good player, he’s due a massive cap hit, and the Vikings re-signed Alexander Mattison and selected DeWayne McBride in the NFL Draft.”

New Divisional Balance
Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

NFLAnalysis.net ran with theory, too, adding, “What could a trade between the Chiefs and Vikings look like? He isn’t quite on Christian McCaffrey’s level but he should net more than D’Andre Swift did during the draft last week. Kansas City could offer their 2024 fourth and seventh-round picks to Minnesota in exchange for the four-time Pro Bowler.”

“The Chiefs get a player in Cook that is a true three-down back. He can take pressure off of Mahomes as teams will respect him a little more in the running game than they did Pacheco and McKinnon last year. Anything Kansas City can do to take attention away from Mahomes and the passing game is a win,” NFLAnalysis.net’s Kenneth Teape opined.

The theory is present on YouTube, too. Watch this insightful video explanation from NFL Trendzone’s Cody Spears:

The Vikings seem poised to end the Cook era in Minnesota, with little bits of evidence piling up. When the team announced its 2023 schedule last week, Mattison headlined one of the primary graphics — not Cook — an odd choice in a montage that included Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson.

A Chiefs RB depth chart + Cook would look like this:

  • RB1: Dalvin Cook
  • RB2: Isiah Pacheco
  • RB3: Jerick McKinnon
  • RB4: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
  • RB5: La’Mical Perine
  • RB6: Deneric Prince

Cook is the Vikings third-leading rush rusher in franchise history behind Adrian Peterson and Robert Smith. He’ll turn 28 in August.


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 OverTheCap.com.

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