Vikings Trading 4-Time Pro Bowler a ‘Done Deal’ For the Right Price, Insider Says

Kevin O'Connell

Courtesy of Vikings Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is on the chopping block approaching the 2023 offseason.

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is among several veterans who are on the chopping block this offseason — and a former NFL agent would be surprised if the Vikings didn’t trade him if they were offered a Day 2 draft pick.

KSTP’s Darren Wolfson consulted Joel Corry, a former NFL agent and CBS Sports contributor, about Cook’s prospects of staying in Minnesota after the 27-year-old running back showed significant regression by advanced metrics.

The Vikings, currently $24 million over the expected salary cap for the 2023 season, could simply cut Cook and take the cap savings.

However, Corry suggested Cook could warrant a trade similar to the Cleveland Browns landing a conditional third-round pick from the Houston Texans for Duke Johnson in the 2019 offseason. Johnson, a former third-round pick, was 25 at the time and on a second contract that was worth roughly $3 million less annually than Cook’s current deal in Minnesota.

Wolfson doesn’t believe the Vikings could get a third-round pick for Cook at this juncture of the soon-to-be 28-year-old back’s career. But if Minnesota did receive a similar offer to Johnson’s, Wolfson sees it as a “done deal.”

“I would be shocked if the Vikings could get a third for Dalvin Cook,” Wolfson said on a January 24 airing of the SKOR North podcast. “If they can get a third for Dalvin Cook, done deal. They will make that move. They will take the dead money cap hit but also get some cap relief.”

The Vikings don’t have the luxury of rebuilding their roster through the draft with just four picks — two inside the top 100 — as of late January. The front office will have to clear upwards of $40 million in cap space to rebuild the roster — and a trade for Cook would both help the Vikings in the draft and create $7.9 million in cap space for next season.


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Running back regression again proved itself true when it came to Cook’s 2022 season.

While Cook’s 1,173 rushing yards ranked sixth in the league, he was noticeably less efficient as a ball carrier. Cook ranked dead last in rushing yards over expected. According to Pro Football Focus, Cook left plenty of meat on the bone, gaining 200 yards fewer than an average running back in the league.

He ranked 36th out of 42 backs with at least 100 carries in Football Outsiders’ DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement) and 33rd in PFF rushing grade. As a team, the Vikings ranked 28th in rushing DVOA and 29th in EPA per rush, per Inside the Vikings’ Will Ragatz.

Minnesota struggled to run the ball as a team in 2022. However, Cook isn’t the eraser of the line’s faults that he once was — and the Vikings may not deem him worth his $14 million cap hit at this stage in his career.


Vikings’ Future at RB Position Uncertain

With Cook’s future in question and backup Alexander Mattison expected to depart in free agency, the Vikings backfield could look very different next season.

Kene Nwangwu, a 2021 fourth-round pick, and Ty Chandler, a 2022 fifth-round pick could become the new face of the running back room. Chandler flashed promise in the preseason as a hybrid back, while Nwangwu is one of the fastest running backs in the league.

Neither of them saw any meaningful carries this season and would need to develop into their new roles.

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