Broncos Interested in Pursuing 4-Time Pro Bowl RB, Sources Say

Sean Payton Broncos

Getty Denver Broncos HC Sean Payton speaking to the media at the NFL Combine.

As the Dalvin Cook rumor mill churns, the Denver Broncos are among the teams lining up to sign the four-time Pro Bowl running back, if he’s released, according to league sources.

“Denver is definitely interested,” a league source told Heavy. “But, it’s not just the Broncos in the mix.”

Cook is the most prolific, and balanced, running back available as training camps near.

But, for the Broncos to be a fit, the Minnesota Vikings would likely need to release the 27-year-old, because Denver currently has just over $10 million in cap space and Cook is set to count upwards of $10 million against the cap this season.

In 2022, only five running backs rushed for more than Cook’s 1,173 yards, while his 8 touchdowns ranked 12th in the league.

If the Broncos are able to scoop up Cook, it isn’t difficult to envision him occupying a dual role, both as a between-the-tackles bruiser, but also as a dynamic pass-catcher out of the backfield. After all, Cook caught 39 of his 51 targets last season for 295 yards with a pair of touchdowns. Cook could potentially fill a similar role to how Broncos head coach Sean Payton deployed Alvin Kamara during his tenure with the New Orleans Saints.

The combination of quarterback Russell Wilson’s mobility and Cook’s versatility would be a fascinating offense to watch.

Other Potential Dalvin Cook Destinations

Miami Dolphins

There might not be a better schematic fit than Cook landing in Mike McDaniel’s system, surrounded by the abundance of speed the Dolphins have surrounded quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with.

“Miami would have a hammer to go with all of that speed,” an AFC scout recently told Heavy, on the condition of anonymity to speak freely about another team. “With Dalvin Cook, they’d really be hell to stop on offense. It would almost be unfair to drop him in that situation.”

The Dolphins have displayed a relentless commitment to championship aspirations in the past two offseasons, bolstering their roster with game-changers like superstar wideout Tyreek Hill, shutdown cornerback Jalen Ramsey, dominant edge rusher Bradley Chubb, and a host of other impactful additions. Adding Cook would certainly follow that trend.

Chicago Bears

It would seem highly unlikely that the Vikings would consider trading Cook to an NFC North rival, but if Cook is released, expect the Bears to be among the teams most aggressively pursuing him.

Chicago has a definitive need at running back, and has invested significant resources in surrounding quarterback Justin Fields with premier talent the past two seasons; adding receivers Chase Claypool, D.J. Moore, and top free agent guard Nate Davis.

Dropping Cook into an offense built around Fields’ prolific ability as a runner has explosive potential and could move the Bears significantly closer to vaulting to the top of the NFC North this fall.

Cincinnati Bengals

Don’t dismiss the Bengals as a potential Dalvin Cook dark horse.

Yes, Joe Mixon has been a dominant and proven commodity in the Bengals’ backfield, but Cincinnati can move on from the 26-year-old this summer. Releasing Mixon would create $10 million in cap space, while triggering dead money charges of $2.75 million both in 2023 and 2024.

Cook is likely a better fit in the Bengals’ scheme that stretches the field vertically more than most offenses both because of his explosiveness as a runner, but because he’s productive with the ball in his hands after the catch as a receiver, as well.

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