Dalvin Cook’s name has been circulating in trade rumors for months, and there’s a feeling inside the NFL that the Minnesota Vikings could be primed to move on from the star running back.
Teams with fresh cap space to spend after June 1 cuts were officially executed could be in the market for a veteran back they view could put them over the top.
Even though Cook is set to count $10.4 million against the cap this season, his consistent productivity and the fact that he’s coming off a stellar 1,173-yard and 8-touchdown campaign in 2022 should spark a strong market.
There might not be a better fit for Cook than the Miami Dolphins, who the 27-year-old recently said he would accept a trade to.
“Miami would have a hammer to go with all of that speed,” an AFC scout 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 would certainly fit the criteria of a team that should be in the mix for Cook.
Miami currently has upwards of $13.9 million in cap space, returned to the postseason in 2022. Likewise, the Dolphins have been acting like an organization that is serious about competing for Super Bowls over the past two offseasons, following the acquisitions such as star wide receiver Tyreek Hill, cornerback Jalen Ramsey, edge rusher Bradley Chubb, and others.
How Dalvin Cook Would Fit Miami Dolphins’ Scheme
For several teams at the top of the Super Bowl hierarchy, Cook would be a luxury piece, and to some extent that would be the case for the Dolphins, too.
Miami deployed the backfield duo of Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson in 2022, but despite their versatility as contributors in the passing game — combining for 43 receptions for 296 yards with 3 receiving touchdowns, the Dolphins boasted only the league’s 24th-rated rushing offense.
Adding Cook into Mike McDaniel’s offense that emphasizes speed on the perimeter and pushing the ball deep in the vertical passing game would certainly keep defenses honest. Not to mention, Cook has the potential to be a battering ram late in games, when the Dolphins could have the chance to wear teams down while putting victories on ice.
Cook also can make plays with the ball in his hands as a receiver. Last season, Cook pulled down 39 of his 51 targets for 295 yards with a pair of touchdowns.
“The Dolphins would be a terrific fit,” an NFC Personnel Executive told Heavy. “He’s a great back.”
Why Dolphins Trade Make Sense for Dalvin Cook & Vikings
Cook is the type of player who could elevate the Dolphins’ Super Bowl chances upon arrival, and his skill set isn’t just an ideal fit for McDaniel’s offense, but would complement the weapons Miami already has in place.
Meanwhile, for the Vikings, if the organization is serious about trading Cook and allocating his salary to the likes of Justin Jefferson, tight end T.J. Hockenson, and finally figuring out a long-term plan at quarterback, trading the workhorse back to Miami would get Cook out of the NFC.
Few teams are as well-positioned from a cap standpoint, and also in need of running back help than the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, and Green Bay Packers, but the Vikings shipping Cook off to a rival at the top of the conference — let alone within the NFC North seems unlikely.
The Dolphins have the resources, the need, and are a great fit for Cook. It might just come down to the Vikings deciding whether they are fully comfortable moving on from Cook and forward with Alexander Mattison standing in the way of a deal getting done.