The Latest Twist in Dalvin Cook’s Free Agency

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The Minnesota Vikings said goodbye to Dalvin Cook on June 9th, severing a six-year-long relationship with the running back.

Cook was on tap to inflict a $14.1 million dead cap hit against the Vikings books in 2023, evidently too rich for general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s blood.

The Latest Twist in Dalvin Cook’s Free Agency

The Florida State alumnus is free to sign anywhere in the NFL and is expected to find employment during or after the NFL’s training camps. Cook reportedly still believes he can fetch $10 million per season in a gridiron climate where running back vitality is nearing life support.

Twist in Dalvin
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But the wildcard twist regarding Cook’s free agency is new and somewhat surprising — the Vikings are apparently open to a reunion at their pricepoint.

And the source is relatively credible, former NFL great Boomer Esiason, a quarterback from Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets fame of yesteryear. Esiason said this week, “There is a $7 million offer on the table for him to accept in Minnesota if he wants to go back.”

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Esiason has no tangible ties to the Vikings, but he’s evidently in the loop. He also said about Cook and the Vikings alleged offer, “I don’t think he wants to go back.”

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins floated the reunion theory, too, a few days after Cook was released. He suggested Cook could return to the Vikings if Cook’s free agency didn’t take off. “I’m excited to see where he goes, I’ll always be pulling for him, and I’m kind of optimistically hoping maybe we get him back,” Cousins told reporters.

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Cousins concluded in June, “Who knows? Maybe there is an outside chance. We’ll see.”

Meanwhile, Minnesota has outwardly proclaimed excitement about Alexander Mattison taking over as RB1, with side dishes of tailbacks Ty Chandler, Kene Nwangwu, and DeWayne McBride for committee-like support. If Cook pounced on the Vikings $7 million offer, as defined by Esiason, the club would have a crowded house at running back and would likely cut one existing player from the RB portion of the depth chart.

Sports Predicts Dalvin
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Cook’s only real pathway to a Vikings reunion would involve his examination of the free agent market and determining that he couldn’t grab north of $7 million elsewhere. Then, he’d re-sign in Minnesota as if nothing happened.

On the whole, the Vikings offer is understandable — they love Cook and perhaps wanted him back, just not at $14.1 million. Cook has generated attention from the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and Denver Broncos, among others, in the free agent rumor mill, meaning the man will have options.

Still, until the Esiason mini-announcement, most Vikings fans believed Cook was gone and not coming back. If you’re a Cook eternalist, there’s still a glimmer of hope for a homecoming.

Cook turns 28 next month.

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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