The Buffalo Bills could have a family reunion in the backfield this upcoming season, one insider is predicting.
NBC Sports analyst Matthew Berry joined Jay Croucher and Connor Rogers in making a series of roster predictions for 2023, with Berry saying he believes Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook will join his brother in Buffalo. Second-year back James Cook is expected to take on a bigger role in Buffalo’s backfield this upcoming season, but Berry believes his Pro Bowl brother could be an even bigger addition.
Analyst Predicts Big Roster Move for Bills
Berry noted what he saw as a growing rift between Cook and the Vikings, which could give the Bills a chance to make a significant roster upgrade.
“I think Dalvin Cook is not a member of the Minnesota Vikings [next season],” Berry said, noting how the Vikings already took Cook’s image out of their Twitter banner and replaced him with Alexander Mattison. “I think Dalvin Cook leaves the Vikings, and bold prediction as to where he goes–I think he plays with his brother, James, in Buffalo.”
Berry added that Buffalo could be a strong fit for Dalvin Cook, with the potential to step into a role as lead running back. He also speculated that some of the Bills’ star players might play an active role in recruiting Cook should he be released by the Vikings and enter free agency.
“His former teammate Stefon Diggs is there, his brother there, the only other competition in the backfield is Latavius Murray and Damien Harris,” Berry said. “I could see James Cook and Stefon Diggs and Josh Allen saying, ‘Dalvin, come over here and win a Super Bowl with us.’ There’s a lot of reasons why you could see that, if they release Dalvin Cook as a free agent, that he could wind up in Buffalo.”
The Bills would likely need to make some cap space to add Cook, who signed a $63-million deal with the Vikings and would likely still attract a top salary for his position on a new deal.
Dalvin Cook’s Uncertain Future in Minnesota
Cook’s future in Minnesota has been in doubt for weeks, with reports that the Vikings have been ready to part ways with him. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on May 14 that the Vikings “want to do right” by Cook and were prepared to ship him out to a new destination.
“They want him to go to a place where he can play and be happy, whether that’s via trade or eventual release or even staying in Minnesota,” Fowler reported. “But that’s sort of the thing they’ve been sorting through. I believe the Vikings have been willing to listen to trade offers.”
But the sentiment may have shifted in recent days. KSTP’s Darren Wolfson reported that Cook may be “having a change of heart” and willing to take a pay cut to stay in Minnesota due to the cold market for running backs.
“And it’s possible. You look at the landscape of the league like who really needs a running back — you look at Austin Eckler, he reworked his deal this week to remain a Charger. Could something comparable happen where the possibility exists that Dalvin Cook is in purple … in 2023?” Wolfson said.