Another Nugget Enters Dalvin Cook Trade Rumor Mill

3rd Injury in 2 Days Ripples through Vikings Training Camp
Jul 29, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

When general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell took over the Minnesota Vikings organization 15 months ago, the twosome promised to build a collaborative and welcoming culture.

They did precisely that, and the bedrock of the philosophy includes “doing right by” players.

Another Nugget Enters Dalvin Cook Trade Rumor Mill

Evidently, that’s happening behind the scenes with longtime running back Dalvin Cook, who is expected to be traded or released in the coming weeks.

Another Nugget Enters
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) looks on after the game against the Indianapolis Colts at U.S. Bank Stadium. With the win, the Minnesota Vikings clinched the NFC North. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings apparently want to satisfy Cook, a cherished member of the franchise since 2017. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said last weekend on SportsCenter, “Dalvin Cook’s future has been sort of open-ended recently. I was told from a source that the Vikings want to do right by Dalvin Cook. Right now, they’re willing to hold on to his cap hit of around $14 million until they figure this all out.”

“I believe the Vikings have been willing to listen to trade offers. I talked to some teams who have linked Dalvin Cook to Miami in the past just because he’s a South Florida guy, they were looking for a running back at one point, but they also just drafted one in the third round and had re-signed a couple of players,” Fowler continued.

Dalvin Cook Thickens
Jan 5, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) runs against the New Orleans Saints during the second quarter of an NFC Wild Card playoff football game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports.

Cook is the Vikings third-leading rusher in franchise history behind Adrian Peterson and Robert Smith. While his yards-per-carry and yards-over-expected metrics dipped substantially in 2022, he incorporated large touchdowns scampers into several games that aided Minnesota’s division-winning 13-4 record.

Fowler concluded, “There’s not a clear-cut avenue for him to be traded, at least at the moment. And so, the Vikings moved on from Za’Darius Smith, they could be willing to move on from Dalvin Cook at some point, but it hasn’t shaken out yet.”

Flashback Friday: Vikings Blow Out Dolphins in 2018
Dec 16, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) carries the ball during the third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

If relatively recent running back trades can be faithfully sourced, Cook should fetch a 4th- or 5th-Round pick. But as the NFL trends toward pass-happiness, RBs are becoming less valuable, almost by the minute.

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.

But if Adofo-Mensah is set on “taking care of Cook,” the trade or release could happen at any time — to anywhere.

Cook will 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).

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