The Miami Dolphins have been the prime candidate to deal for Cook considering their playoff-caliber roster and a desire to play for right now. The Vikings and Dolphins discussed a Cook deal prior to last weekend’s NFL Draft, but talks broke down when the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement on compensation.
Nate LaJoie of Bleacher Report posted a live stream on Friday, May 5, during which he delved into the most suitable and likely trade partners for Cook. Among them are two recent Super Bowl champions that have fallen off a proverbial cliff since hoisting the Lombardi Trophy — the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Rams.
“There aren’t very many running back-needy teams right now,” LaJoie said. “But I still think there [are] a couple of teams that could be circling the waters for a Dalvin Cook trade.”
Dalvin Cook Would Improve Bucs’ NFL-Worst Rushing Attack
The three years remaining on Cook’s considerable contract could ultimately prove a road block to moving the four-time Pro Bowler. That said, the general consensus as to Cook’s trade price makes any deal a bit more manageable.
“He might go for as light a cost as a fifth-round draft choice next season,” LaJoie said.
That is particularly true for a team like Tampa Bay, which fielded by far the league’s worst rushing attack in 2022 with an average of approximately 3.4 yards per carry and only 1,308 yards gained on the ground over 17 games.
“I think that Cook could relish the opportunity of going back to his home state of Florida,” LaJoie said. “I think that this would be quite the homecoming for Dalvin Cook.”
Dalvin Cook Offers Rams Chance to Bounce Back After Down Year
The Rams weren’t much better than the Bucs on the ground last season, gaining just 1,661 yards and placing them in a tie for 27th in that category with none other than the Vikings.
Los Angeles cobbled together a quality enough rushing attack to capture a title in 2021. The struggles the team navigated last season were, in part, penance for the maneuvers that made a championship possible two years ago.
“[The Rams] have had a lot of trials and tribulations at running back ever since Todd Gurley made his exit,” LaJoie pointed out. “The Darrell Henderson experiment didn’t really work out. … Cam Akers, when he’s at his best, I think he’s a very solid option, but we have seen him put the ball on the ground so many times.”
“Getting a guy like Dalvin Cook, a true first- and second-down running back, … I think that would be a safe option for Los Angeles,” LaJoie continued.
The Vikings, who appear to be committed to Alexander Mattison as their running back of the immediate future, can save between $7.9 million and $11 million by dealing Cook this offseason, per Over The Cap.