Meet the Frontrunner to Land Dalvin Cook

Friendly to Dalvin
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Although he’s under contract for three more seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, running back Dalvin Cook is no longer favored to remain with the club in 2023.

Cook has a scheduled $14.1 million cap hit this season, a number earning him a spot in the NFL’s trade rumor mill for about six weeks.

Meet the Frontrunner to Land Dalvin Cook

And if Cook is traded or outright released, the frontrunner to secure his services for September is the Miami Dolphins.

Meet the Frontrunner
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports. updated Cook’s next-team odds, and while the Vikings are second in line to finagle a restructured agreement with the 27-year-old, Miami currently takes the cake:

  • Dolphins = +250
  • Vikings = +300
  • Eagles = +450
  • Cardinals = +600
  • Patriots = +750
  • Bears = +1000
  • The Field = +700

Back on March 13, KSTP‘s Darren Wolfson mentioned the Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons as possible trade candidates for Cook, “Atlanta and Miami said to have inquired on 4. I still see him here right now in 2023.”

Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

But then free agency went full tilt, the Vikings re-signed Alexander Mattison for two years and $7 million, and Cook was not traded. Still, most believe general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah won’t keep the tailback on the roster with his mammoth cap hit, so the trade rumor mill surrounding Cook never really died.

Then, the plot thickened. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on SportsCenter last week, “I’m told all options are on the table here and that he could be released closer to the draft if things don’t work out. They had talked to at least one team about a trade in the past closer to free agency, so he is certainly a name to watch.”

Cook ran for 1,173 rushing yards in 2022, an impressive amount for a team that rushed the football the third least under first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell. The Florida State alumnus even honed the homerun-ball touchdown on the field, slicing and dicing about three different defenses for humongous, game-altering touchdowns.

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Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Last Thursday, Adofo-Mensah was asked about Cook’s future with the team, and it would’ve been rather straightforward to comment that Cook is under contract and expected to be a part of the 2023 team. But the young executive declined, instead stating, “Conversations are always ongoing with him. We’re trying to be solution-oriented always, trying to put the roster together within our constraints.”

Soon after, Zach Hiller, Cook’s agent, said on the Caps Off Podcast late last week, “People are starting to realize, Dalvin averages 107 yards per game, he has Hall of Fame numbers, but he’s been in Minnesota, they’ve been mediocre, and, like, he actually has incredible statistics.”

“Also, he’s been playing with one shoulder. Like, purposely — and this is part of the business — purposely he’s been turning certain ways thinking about the fact that he’s about to get hit and not necessarily trying to land on his shoulder,” Hiller opined.

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Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings could probably fetch a 4th- or 5th-Rounder from the Dolphins for Cook if the release theory is false.

Otherwise, Minnesota has the option to stay put with its current group of RBs for 2023 — Mattison, Ty Chandler, and Kene Nwangwu. The NFL draft is nine days away if the club prefers to add another name to the mix.

The Dolphins employ Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson, Myles Gaskin, and Ahmed Salvon as running backs at the moment.

Cook was born in Opa-Locka, Florida, a part of the Miami metro.

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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by