Will Dalvin Cook Have 2 New Suitors?

Dalvin Cook
Oct 6, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) runs in the 1st half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Monday came and went with running backs Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, and Tony Pollard not fetching long-term contracts with their respective teams.

All men were franchise-tagged this offseason, and only Pollard previously signed his franchise tag. Barkley and Jacobs are now ineligible for contract extensions until March — and can either play on the tag or holdout.

Will Dalvin Cook Have 2 New Suitors?

Meanwhile, former Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook remains a free agent after the franchise said sayonara on June 9th.

So, does Cook indeed have two fresh suitors?

New York Giants

Before this week, the Giants were not involved in the Cook rumor mill whatsoever. Why? Well, they employed Barkley, a Top 5 halfback in the sport.

But now the stakes have changed. Barkley might hang on to the prospect of holding out, meaning these men would be tasked with RB duties:

  • Matt Breida
  • Eric Gray
  • Gary Brightwell
  • Jashaun Corbin
Cook Have 2 New
New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll answers questions before practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, in East Rutherford. © Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Perhaps with a quarterback more prolific than Daniel Jones, scooting by with Breida and the gang could do the trick. But Jones threw only 15 touchdown passes last year and felt precisely like the kind of quarterback who needs help, help, and more help to flourish.

Barkley is — was? — the face of the franchise in New York, even if the Giants front office just allotted Jones $40 million per season. Switching from Barkley to Breida is laughable, at least per talent. Breida is faster than a cheetah, but so is Barkley, and Barkley is the total package.

Friendly to Dalvin
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) warms up before the game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

With Cook’s free agency now flipped on his head — he will not be paid the $10 million per season that he reportedly wants — meeting in the middle with the Giants to fill the potential Barkley void checks out.

The Giants cannot be wholly ruled out of the Cook rumor mill. If Barkley wanted $12 million annually, there’s a chance Cook could fill the RB1 job for $6 million or so.

Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders could be a different arrangement than the Giants, chiefly because most NFL experts don’t foresee Las Vegas contending for the postseason. Their QB1 solution this offseason was a pivot from Derek Carr to Jimmy Garoppolo, which is essentially the Spider-man meme.

Sizing up the AFC West with the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, and Denver Broncos, Las Vegas may be heading for last place — and the Caleb Williams sweepstakes.

May 25, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Las Vegas Aces and Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis reacts during the second half against the LA Sparks at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

But they may not expressly believe that. In the meantime, sans Jacobs, these are the Raiders tailbacks:

  • Ameer Abdullah
  • Brandon Bolden
  • Zamir White
  • Austin Walter
  • Brittain Brown
  • Sincere McCormick


Sep 22, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) is knocked out of bounds by Oakland Raiders free safety Erik Harris (25) during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

If the Raiders do not find a free agent like Cook and Jacobs does not opt into the franchise tag, you better be fully prepared to draft Davante Adams in fantasy leagues because there’s really nothing else in the way of weaponry.

Arguably more so than the Giants — Matt Breida is more productive than Ameer Abdullah — Las Vegas will need an efficient RB1. And like Barkley, Cook will be more affordable than Jacobs once Cook fully realizes his pipe dream of $10 million per year is kaput.

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 OverTheCap.com.