The 3 Frontrunners to Land Dalvin Cook

The Vikings Have One Small Schedule Oddity in 2022
Oct 11, 2020; Seattle, Washington, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) rushes against the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports.

On Thursday morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted about Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, “Vikings have informed Dalvin Cook that he’s being released, per source.”

The news was expected and should come to fruition Friday if Schefter is correct.

The 3 Frontrunners to Land Dalvin Cook

Now, the Vikings turn to Alexander Mattison as RB1, with players like Ty Chandler, DeWayne McBride, and Kene Nwangwu for committee-like support.

But what happens to Cook? Well, the soon-to-be 28-year-old will latch onto a new team, hoping to make the Vikings look like fools for releasing him.

to Land Dalvin
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.

And these are the three frontrunners to land his services, ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most likely).

3. Buffalo Bills

Dec 1, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) throws a pass against the New England Patriots in the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports.

The observation here should undoubtedly be brotherly love. The Bills employ James Cook, a rookie from the 2022 NFL Draft. Younger brother Cook didn’t set the world on fire in 2022 — his brother set the Bills on fire, though — so plopping big brother Cook on Buffalo’s roster could make sense.

Buffalo also utilizes Damien Harris — a new free-agent addition — and Nyheim Hines at running back, creating a perhaps crowded house if the Bills sign on Dalvin Cook’s dotted line. Perhaps it’s time for Buffalo to stop messing around with mid-tier RBs and get in bed with Cook, a man with a documented history of production.

Too, the Bills just signed Cameron Dantzler this week. They like former Vikings.

2. Denver Broncos

Nov 28, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos general manager George Paton before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

Broncos fans hope and pray promising young tailback Javonte Williams is progressing nicely from a serious injury recovery. Yet, at an affordable price, why not hedge the bet with Cook while not rushing Williams back or unnecessarily making him a bellcow?

George Paton runs the Broncos front office, and he was ‘in the room’ for the Vikings when Rick Spielman drafted Cook in 2017. More than any other general manager in sports, Paton knows Cook.

Denver also has Samaje Perine, so a Williams-Cook-Perine threesome might do the trick in Sean Payton’s first year as head coach out in the mountains.

1. Miami Dolphins

Dolphins Name Starting QB vs. Vikings
Sep 18, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports.

Well, wouldn’t this one fulfill three-plus months’ worth of rumors? We have no idea how or where Cook would fit with this group:

  • RB1: Raheem Mostert
  • RB2: Jeff Wilson Jr.
  • RB3: De’Von Achane
  • RB4: Salvon Ahmen
  • RB5: Myles Gaskin
  • RB6: Chris Brooks

But that’s not our problem. Because of Cook’s hometown connection — he’s from Miami — the Cook-to-Dolphins talker has had legs since March. Also, the aforementioned Schefter tweeted Thursday, “The Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos are two of the teams that are expected to have an interest in signing running back Dalvin Cook once he officially is released, per sources. There likely will be others, but those two have been monitoring Cook for weeks.”

Miami must be considered the Cook frontrunner.

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).

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