Ex-Vikings Star Is Frustrated with New Role

Dalvin Cook Uses Chalkboard Treatment for Fine
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings underwent some significant changes in the offseason. Not only did they replace their defensive coordinator, but they also made all kinds of personnel changes to get some salary cap relief but also to field a younger team in 2023 and going forward. Some of the departed players have struggled on their new teams.

Ex-Vikings Star Is Frustrated with New Role

Ex-Vikings Star Is Frustrated With New Role
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One is star running back Dalvin Cook, a phenomenal player in Minnesota for years. He was a 2017 second-round pick and immediately became the offense’s focal point, keeping that role until Justin Jefferson took the reigns.

He thinks he could still be that guy at age 28, but apparently, his new employer, the New York Jets, disagrees, leading to frustrations. Cook voiced those frustrations on Thursday. “Of course, it’s frustrating. I’m an honest person, man. I work. I want to play. And, yeah, it’s frustrating. It’s new for me. I come from getting the ball 20 times a game, or however many times. Of course, it’s frustrating. It’s something that I’ve been adapting to. If you watch my career, the type of back I am, I get better and better as the game goes on.”

Cook indeed used to be a bell-cow running back, logging the second-most touches by a running back between 2019 and 2022, only trailing Derrick Henry. Just last year, Cook touched the ball 303 yards, ranking him eighth in the NFL.

Another Nugget Enters
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The former Florida State standout was released from the Vikings in June, saving the franchise roughly $6 million in cap space in 2023. He stuck around on free agency and waited for the right opportunity and salary offer. He then chose the New York Jets, who have Breece Hall under contract. The sophomore is one of the most electric runners in the NFL. Cook’s idea was that Hall was coming off a torn ACL, so he could take the load until Hall was ready and then work in a committee.

Unfortunately for Cook, Hall was ready earlier than expected, and the difference in explosiveness was too obvious to limit Hall’s touches, especially with quarterback Aaron Rodgers going down. Through six games, Cook rushed 36 times for 109 yards, averaging 2.8 yards per carry, an awful number. Hall, meanwhile, is thriving as he averages 6.5 yards per carry, the most in the NFL.

The former Viking expected his signing with the Jets would be a great move for him and the franchise. He entered the situation without any specific number of touches in mind but is unhappy with how it has been turning out: “We all thought it was going to be more than what it is but I wasn’t thinking of a percentage of him getting the ball or me getting the ball. I wasn’t thinking like that. I just thought … the touches will get spread around.”

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Asked about a potential trade, Cook mentioned that he would sit down with his agent and general manager Joe Douglas to figure out what’s best for everyone involved. Trade rumors have been floating around for a few weeks.

Cook’s ineffective performances in 2023 could be a problem in finding a suitor via trade. A couple of teams that might make sense are the Baltimore Ravens, who missed starter J.K. Dobbins with a torn Achilles, or the Buffalo Bills, who were rumored to be after his services in free agency.

The four-time Pro Bowler turned 28 years old in August. That is the age in which runners often fall off a cliff, and that cliff may have gotten another great player. He continues to rank fourth in rushing touchdowns and third in rushing yards in Vikings history.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt.