Bleacher Report Has Weird FA Suggestion for Vikings

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Out with the old and in with the older.

That’s the message from Bleacher Report this week regarding Minnesota Vikings and the league’s best remaining free agents. BR’s Kristopher Knox nominated eight players that oddly haven’t signed anywhere as of late May, and Ezekiel Elliott made the cut.

Bleacher Report Has Weird FA Suggestion for Vikings

And when Knox settled on “logical landing spots” for the three-time Pro Bowler, the Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers stood off the page.

has weird fa
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The Vikings have five running backs under contract as of May 26th — Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, Ty Chandler, Kene Nwangwu, and rookie DeWayne McBride. On paper, the running back spot is where the Vikings could use the least help.

But that didn’t deter Bleacher Report from dreaming big. Knox wrote about Elliott and the Vikings theory, “Elliott could make sense for the Minnesota Vikings, who appear to be on the verge of parting with star running back Dalvin Cook. The Vikings have “come close” to trading Cook, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. The social-media team also recently replaced Cook with Alexander Mattison in its Twitter banner (h/t Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk).”

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Elliott joined the Dallas Cowboys in 2016 and since ranks second in the NFL behind Tennessee Titans’ phenom RB Derrick Henry in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.

“Naturally, Minnesota would clear Cook’s salary from the books before signing a back like Elliott to pair with Mattison,” Knox concluded.

The Vikings adding Elliott should be considered an extreme longshot — for two reasons. Foremost, Cook remains on the Vikings roster despite every NFL pundit suggesting his exit for about 2.5 months. Minnesota has about $9.5 million in cap space at the moment and could just keep Cook for 2023. Most trade or release theories involving Cook were contrived when the Vikings needed cap space for free agency.

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Second, Elliott’s production has tended to dip each year since becoming a Cowboy, evidenced by his yards per carry. Here’s the YPC resume per season over the last eight:

  • 2016 = 5.1
  • 2017 = 4.1
  • 2018 = 4.7
  • 2019 = 4.5
  • 2020 = 4.0
  • 2021 = 4.2
  • 2022 = 3.8

Perhaps the Vikings-Elliott idea would add up if this were the 25-year-old version of Eliiott or if the Vikings didn’t draft Ty Chandler and DeWayne McBride in the last two years. Minnesota simply has a crowded house at halfback, and if the club explores big-name free agents, cornerback, inside linebacker, outside linebacker, or offensive guard may be a more pressing need.

Elliott and the aforementioned Cook were born 19 days apart.

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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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