Dalvin Cook Generates ‘a Lot of Interest’

Friendly to Dalvin
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings moved on from their running back Dalvin Cook after six seasons. He has been a fantastic player and human being for the Minnesota Vikings and will be missed on the field but even more so in the locker room. He can now choose his next team for the first time in his professional career.

Dalvin Cook Generates ‘a Lot of Interest’

Dalvin Cook Generates 'a Lot of Interest'
Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

The debates immediately ignited when reports surfaced about Cook’s potential release. Is he still a great back? His 1,100 rushing yards in four straight seasons imply that he is. So do his improbable big play touchdowns in the last season, where he looked like one of the most explosive players in the league. The advanced statistics imply that he lost a step and couldn’t generate enough yardage out of the opportunities the offensive line gave him. The truth is probably somewhere in between.

About one-and-a-half week later, Cook is still a free agent waiting for his next move, but that doesn’t mean there’s no interest. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Cook might wait four more weeks until the negotiation window closes for the franchise-tagged running backs Saquon Barkley, Tony Pollard, and Josh Jacobs.

I’m told he’s willing to be patient here, not in a major rush to sign. And he could wait for Barkley and those other franchise-tag running backs because that’s new contract comps that he can work with to see what’s out there. He’s been linked to Miami. There could be teams like Denver that could be looking for an extra running back. So, a lot of interest so far. I’m told that Dalvin feels really good coming off that torn labrum surgery. He believes he’ll be able to absorb contact even better this year.

Jeremy Fowler
Dalvin Cook Has 1
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Waiting for these situations to play out makes sense for Cook. The running back market in 2023 has been a disaster for the players, as nobody is getting any big contracts. Ezekiel Elliot and Leonard Fournette were cut and don’t appear to have any suitors. Of course, Cook is a superior player in 2023, but the market is still not kind to the runners. If one or more of the tagged guys can reach an agreement, Cook can also get more money. At least that is the theory. The deadline for negotiations of the tagged players is July 17.

Another benefit for the former Viking is that once the trio is locked up, he becomes the unquestioned top guy on the market. At this point, the runners could hold out for an extended period of time, and other teams could speculate someone from the group becomes available for trade. Cook is in a ‘wait-and-see’ situation, according to Fowler.

He’s in a little bit of a wait-and-see mode right now. No official visits to teams that I’m aware of, and we talk about the franchise tag with [Saquon] Barkley, Cook can actually wait until July 17 [to sign], I’m told, because you’ve got three running backs on the franchise tag—Tony Pollard, Josh Jacobs.

Another Nugget Enters
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Cook’s health has been a problem for years, but he has actually been fairly durable, especially for a running back, as he played with some minor and even major injuries over the years that might have cost him a step or two in some games. He mentioned last week that his shoulder is feeling great. He underwent surgery in February to repair an injury from years ago.

Kirk Cousins recently praised his former teammate and still hopes that he will come back – an unlikely scenario but not impossible. Expect it to be the Alexander Mattison show in Minnesota. Cook’s next team will be an interesting storyline come July.

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