With the NFL’s post-June 1 cap rule, many teams like Minnesota can save significantly more cap space by trading or releasing a player, sparking another cycle of player moves this offseason.
Outkick’s Armando Salguero, who covered the Miami Dolphins for three decades with the Miami Herald, reported that Cook has identified his ideal destinations in a trade — the Dolphins or the Buffalo Bills — through his sources.
“Cook is from Miami. He has made it known through sources he’d like to play either for the Dolphins or with his brother James Cook on the Bills And the Vikings have let it known Cook probably isn’t in their future,” Salguero wrote.
The Vikings can save at least $9 million by cutting or trading him now as opposed to $5.8 million before June 1. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are officially in an advantageous position to take on Cook’s cap hit after the post-June 1 release of cornerback Byron Jones created $13.6 million in cap space.
Why the Vikings Could Hold Dalvin Cook Through This Summer
Since March the Dolphins have had reported interest in Cook and appeared to be willing to wait for the Vikings to potentially drop Cook.
However, Minnesota has shifted its stance since those earlier trade talks with the Dolphins. Jeremy Fowler reported that the Vikings want to “do right” by Cook and are willing to carry his cap hit until they find an ideal situation for Cook — ergo, a trade partner.
The Vikings holding onto Cook could crash his value in the market as more teams will unload their available cap space on free agents approaching the regular season, tanking Cook’s chances of striking a lucrative deal in free agency.
Minnesota could already have the cap savings of cutting Cook months ago with a post-June 1 designation in its pocket. Instead, the Vikings appear willing to sit pat, find a trade suitor and watch the running back market dry up. That leaves a trade or taking a pay cut as the only resolution if the situation plays out well into this summer.
Cook has sat out voluntary organized team activities (OTAs) so far this spring but will be fined if he does not attend mandatory minicamps on June 13 and June 14.
Vikings Content With Current RB Core at OTAs
While Cook has been away training in South Florida, the Vikings have been getting a better look at their potential running back core for the 2023 season.
Head coach Kevin O’Connell tipped his hat in a recent media conference to Alexander Mattison, who is the assumed lead back in place of Cook after signing a two-year, $7 million deal that is almost fully guaranteed. O’Connell praised Mattison for taking on a three-down role in practice.
“It’s been really good to see Alex Mattison take a few more reps and really show that all three-down kinda ownership that he’s been capable of for a long time,” O’Connell said in a May 30 media conference.