Running back Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings takes the field ahead of the NFC Wild Card Game against the New York Giants in January 2023.
The time is coming for the Minnesota Vikings to make a decision on Pro-Bowl running back Dalvin Cook and there is at least one option that should leave all parties content.
Jeremy Fowler of ESPN appeared on SportsCenter on Friday, May 19, and said that the Miami Dolphins are a team “to watch” where Cook is concerned as the summer approaches.
“The Vikings, for now, have been willing to hold on to [Cook’s] $14 million cap hit, but once June 1 hits, they can save $9 million on the cap if they do release him,” Fowler said, per Bleacher Report. “I know Cook is training in South Florida right now. He’s been cleared off that torn labrum surgery to start to do some running and explosive work. He loves Minnesota but if they do move on, he’s open to a fresh start. Miami could be one to watch. He’s from Miami [and] they were linked to Dalvin Cook once upon a time in the offseason.”
Vikings Still Trying to Trade Dalvin Cook as Summer Approaches
GettyRunning back Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings runs the ball during a game against the Buffalo Bills in November 2022.
Fowler referenced trade talks between the Vikings and Dolphins that began ahead of the NFL Draft. The precise details were never made public, though talks apparently fell through based on an inability to agree on adequate compensation.
A trade remains the most profitable conclusion to Cook’s time in Minnesota, as it would not only bring back a draft asset of some type but would save the Vikings $11 million against the salary cap as opposed to the $9 million they will erase from the balance sheet by cutting the running back. The $11 million figure is tied to a trade that takes place after June 1, per Over The Cap.
Cook is a hard sell as a trade candidate with three years remaining on a $63 million deal that is one of the most prohibitive running back contracts in the NFL. However, contending teams in the market for a quality rusher do offer some potential trade possibilities if the Vikings are willing to talk about a Day 3 draft pick in return. The Dolphins number among those destinations, as do the Buffalo Bills.
Moving Dalvin Cook’s Contract Opens Crucial Cap Space For Vikings
GettyEdge rusher Danielle Hunter of the Minnesota Vikings is looking for a new contract in 2023.
The Vikings have indicated an openness to bringing Cook back in 2023, but only at a reduced price. Such reports could be nothing more than posturing to gain leverage in potential trade discussions, as Minnesota re-signed Alexander Mattison to a two-year deal this offseason and remains low on cap space with multiple areas of the roster still to address.
A top priority is likely to be a new contract for edge rusher Danielle Hunter, who is entering the final year of a five-year deal next season that vastly underpays the three-time Pro Bowler. The Vikings have $9.6 million in space as of Sunday, which is probably enough to get a new deal done for Hunter without any further moves.
However, another pass rusher or a potential extension for quarterback Kirk Cousins could also be in play for Minnesota before the new season begins. If that’s the case, the Vikings need to clear more cap room and cutting or trading Cook is the best and most sensible way to make that happen.
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