Dalvin Cook Reportedly Doesn’t Like the Latest Offer

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 officially released their top running back Dalvin Cook on June 9th. Four weeks later, Cook is still without a team, which could be an indicator of disappointing demand for his services in the NFL.

Dalvin Cook Reportedly Doesn’t Like the Latest Offer

Like the Latest Offer
Oct 30, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) and offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw (71) react after a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Cook spent his first six seasons with the Minnesota Vikings who selected him in the 2nd round of the 2017 draft to replace Adrian Peterson. He later signed a huge contract extension. The new regime didn’t think he was worth that deal, so he had to leave.

Teams linked to Cook are the Buffalo Bills (the team that employs his brother, James), the Dallas Cowboys (who are generally linked to everyone), and the New England Patriots (who could use another offensive weapon). The top suitor, however, is the Miami Dolphins, the hometown team of the former Florida State star.

ESPN’s reporter Jeff Darlington talked about Cook’s situation during an appearance on ESPN’s show NFL Live:

We have nothing urgent right now in terms of Cook’s decision because ultimately he still wants to get a little bit closer to training camp to really nail this down. One thing I would point out is that the Miami Dolphins remain interested, they still have an offer on the table, one that Cook is not willing to accept. I could see him certainly trying to drum up other leverage. He is still interested in joining the Dolphins but at this point, again, not willing to commit to the deal that they have on the table.

Jeff Darlington, ESPN

Cook and other running backs in the NFL still haven’t accepted – for understandable reasons – the fact that there isn’t much demand for a running back in today’s NFL. Players at every position are getting paid more and more every year while the salaries of RBs shrink.

NFL teams are willing to have average guys run the ball instead of investing big bucks and significant draft capital into the top runners in the sport. That is why running backs rarely go off the board in the first round of drafts nowadays and it is why teams are hesitant to give them a large second contract in the age of analytics.

Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) and running back Alexander Mattison (2) look on before the game against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings did the same thing. They are confident that Alexander Mattison and his backups Ty Chandler, Kene Nwangwu, and DeWayne McBride can do most of the things Cook can do on a much lower cap hit.

RBs are in a horrible position in 2023 and every time a player like Isiah Pacheco and Tyler Allgeier comes into the league as a late-round draft pick and plays at a starting-caliber level, it costs the top guys more money. General managers are convinced – for good reason – that they can discover solid runners with a late-round pick.

Darlington offers some perspective on a potential timeline:

One thing that interests me here in terms of a timeline is July 17th – that’s the deadline for players like Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs to get their deals done. It has nothing to do with Dalvin Cook but if Barkley and Jacobs could reset the market with a deal of their own, perhaps it would give the Dolphins and Dalvin Cook or another team some idea of what his pay should be.

Once Barkley and Jacobs sign their new deals, the threat of them as potential trade options goes away and Cook is clearly the best option available which would increase his power in negotiations. In addition to that, their new deals would also show the league the price tag of an elite back.

There Is a Dalvin Cook Plot Twist
Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) runs the ball during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

A problem for Cook, meanwhile, is that he must convince one organization that he is indeed still one of those elite backs despite entering his age-28 season after an inefficient 2022 campaign. On the other hand, his selling point is the four consecutive seasons with at least 1,100 yards and the ability to be a true workhorse running back.

Eventually, the Dolphins should still be favored to land Cook. The four-time Pro Bowler recently spoke about how he views the Dolphins as a good fit.

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