Vikings Have Offer on the Table for 4-Time Pro Bowler: Report

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Courtesy of Vikings The Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.

Before the NFL entered its summer break, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins hinted at a door being left open for Dalvin Cook, who had been released June 9.

Now, according to CBS Sports’ Boomer Esiason, the Vikings have offered him a deal, just a month after releasing him.

“There is a $7 million offer on the table for him to accept in Minnesota if he wants to go back — [I] don’t think he wants to go back,” Esiason said on the July 10 episode of WFAN’s “Boomer and Gio,” adding that Cook’s agent is trying to play the offer off other teams to drive a bidding war.

Cook has had the AFC East in a tug-of-war for his services, with the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and New England Patriots all expressing interest in him.

However, the financial commitment doesn’t seem to be there. The Dolphins have made an offer as well, although he hasn’t accepted it, according to a July 8 ESPN report.

Esiason said he believed that offer wasn’t on-par with Minnesota’s. “I don’t think the Miami Dolphins want to pay near the $7 million that he has on the table in Minnesota,” he said.

Cook, a four-time Pro Bowler, would’ve made $14 million with the Vikings if they hadn’t released him. Spotrac estimates his market value to be $8.7 million.

Days after Cook’s release, Cousins seemed optimistic about a reunion.

“I’m excited to see where he goes, I’ll always be pulling for him, and I’m kind of optimistically hoping we get him back — who knows,” Cousins said in a June 13 media conference following minicamps. “Maybe there’s an outside chance. We’ll see.”

Making Sense of Dalvin Cook’s Free Agency

Esiason’s report is interesting considering the Vikings are already eating $5.1 million in dead cap money this season after releasing him.

If Minnesota truly has a $7 million-a-year offer for Cook on the table, that would make his total potential impact $12 million if he re-signs — roughly $2 million less than what his original cap hit would have been this season. Saving $2 million doesn’t seem to be worth the months of negotiations and releasing Cook on the Vikings’ end.

The other possibility is the Vikings are leveraging that dead cap into a new one-year deal worth $2 million to put the sum of Cook’s cap hit at $7 million for the season. The optics of Cook taking nearly the veteran minimum to go back to Minnesota aren’t flattery, especially for his agent’s reputation.

This adds another wrinkle to Cook’s free agency, which is appearing to not be as lucrative as expected, begging whether he should have made things work with Minnesota initially.

Vikings Never Requested Dalvin Cook to Take Pay Cut

Dalvin Cook

GettyFree agent running back Dalvin Cook with the Minnesota Vikings in 2022.

While the NFL anticipates Cook to sign with a new team around the start of training camp, his months of back-and-forth with the Vikings have faded from many national media discussions that argued Minnesota wanted to pay him less.

According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, that wasn’t true.

Appearing on the “The Rich Eisen Show” in June, Pelissero reported that the Vikings never actually requested that Cook take a pay cut, instead asking him to restructure his current contract.

“There were scenarios, all the way through the process,” Pelissero said of Cook’s negotiations with Minnesota, “in which the Vikings would’ve brought back Dalvin Cook. … Cook got to a point where he did not want to take a restructure — he was truly, never actually offered a pay cut. But he was not going to restructure his contract with the Vikings, nor was he going to restructure his contract to facilitate a trade.”

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