Rumored Bills Trade Target Could Be Headed to Division Rival: Insider

Dalvin Cook, Vikings

Getty Running back Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings takes the field prior to a game against the Indianapolis Colts in December 2022.

The Buffalo Bills have been named as a potential destination should the Minnesota Vikings choose to trade Dalvin Cook, but a new report indicates that a division rival could be ahead in the race for the star running back.

Albert Breer of reported that Cook will not play for the Vikings on his current contract number ($11 million) this season. The Vikings have also given indications that Cook’s time in Minnesota could be coming to an end. The team recently re-signed running back Alexander Mattison to a two-year, $7 million contract and added a seventh-round running back in this year’s NFL Draft.

As Bleacher Report’s Scott Polacek noted, the Vikings may have given an even more overt sign this week when they removed Cook’s picture from their banner image on Twitter. While the Bills had been pegged as a likely trade candidate for Cook, the Miami Dolphins are now seen as a potential frontrunner.

Dolphins Could Snag Star Running Back

As David Furones of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel noted, Cook has caused a stir by working out near Miami with Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. He noted that the Dolphins have already brought in four running backs in free agency and drafted De’Von Archane in the third round of the NFL Draft, but head coach Mike McDaniel hinted that the team could still bring in another veteran.

“Generally, nothing is off the table,” he said. “But we’re really happy with the offseason we’ve had, the players that we were able to keep on this roster, the new ones that we’ve added, that we added in the draft and that we’re going to in free agency. There will always be stuff that we’ll investigate because that’s our job. So yes.”

Furones added that there is a “decent chance” that the Dolphins emerge as a destination if the Vikings can’t work something out with Cook. There are others who support the idea of the Dolphins as a potential frontrunner for Cook. Breer noted that the Vikings and Dolphins nearly reached a trade deal earlier this offseason, and have kept the lines of communication open on another deal.

Though his production declined after rushing for 1,557 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2020, Cook remained one of the league’s best backs with 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns last season.

Bills Still Seen as Contender for Dalvin Cook

With Cook’s future with the Vikings in flux, some insiders believe the Bills remain a contender should he hit the trade block. Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine noted that Cook would bring the “star power” that has been missing from the backfield.

The Bills have made some moves to their running back room this offseason, adding free agents Damien Harris and Latavius Murray to offset the departure of Devin Singletary, but none of the moves would have the impact of adding Cook, Ballentine wrote.

“A trade to the Bills would make sense,” the Bleacher Report writer noted. “The Bills let Devin Singletary walk and look to feature Cook’s brother, James Cook, in the backfield with free-agent acquisition Damien Harris. The former Patriots back is a fine pickup but doesn’t have nearly the star power or explosiveness of Dalvin Cook.”