This weekend was marked with relief as the Vikings and Mike Zimmer finalized a three-year contract extension for the head coach. Zimmer addressed fans and media on Saturday in a live conference call where he said that he expects Cook to report to training camp on Tuesday.
Sixteen minutes into the live video conference, Zimmer is asked “do you expect Dalvin to be in on Tuesday?”
LIVE: Coach Zimmer addresses his 3-year contract extension. https://t.co/GG8ED8cb71
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) July 25, 2020
Here’s Zimmer’s response and following questioning:
Zimmer: Yes, I was told he would be.
Reporter: Okay. By his camp? Just to be clear.
Zimmer: By him.
Cook’s agent, Zac Hiller, denied Zimmer’s statement hours later.
“Dalvin Cook’s agent Zac Hiller: ‘First, congrats to Coach Zimmer on his well-earned extension. However, Dalvin has not spoken to him in regards to reporting to camp. We are unsure why this was said. I hope Dalvin can continue to play a major role in the Vikings future success’,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.
Cook held out of the final two weeks of virtual meetings after ESPN reported that he would not participate in any team-related activities until he receives a “reasonable” new deal. If Cook’s holdout continues into training camp, he risks not earning the final accrued season on his rookie contract under the NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement. He would become a restricted free agent next offseason and carry a first- or second-round pick collateral price tag teams who have to give the Vikings to acquire him.
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Conflicting Reports From National Media
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, who covered the Vikings locally since 2006 before joining NFL Network, clarified Zimmer’s statement roughly 10 hours after the conference call. Cook had been in contact with Vikings running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu, per Pelissero’s source.
Here’s what Pelissero tweeted:
Some clarity: #Vikings RB Dalvin Cook told RBs coach Kennedy Polamalu he plans to report to training camp, per source. Polamalu relayed that to coach Mike Zimmer, who has texted with Cook tonight to straighten things out. Bottom line: Minnesota expects Cook in camp Tuesday.
Roughly an hour after Pelissero’s report, Schefter tweeted another statement from Hiller, saying “Dalvin and Coach Polamalu speak often as they have a great relationship. Dalvin has never mentioned to him anything in regards to reporting to camp. I’m not sure where the miscommunication is. I hope Dalvin plays a major role in the Vikings future success.”
Hiller did not respond to Heavy for comment as a rift has formed between what the Vikings say they’ve heard from Cook versus what Hiller is reported saying.
Is the miscommunication between Cook and the Vikings, or Cook and his agent? Could it be a tactic in the ongoing negotiations? Only Tuesday will tell.
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- Dalvin Cook’s Holdout Due to Feeling ‘Disrespected’ by Vikings
Trevor Squire is a Heavy contributor covering the Minnesota Vikings and journalism graduate from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. Connect with him on Twitter @trevordsquire and join our Vikings community at Heavy on Vikings on Facebook.