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Four-Time Pro Bowl Running Back Could Be Released In Coming Days

Minnesota Vikings four-time Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook could be released in the coming day and should be able to find a new team.
Dalvin Cook Released

Four-time Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook is still a member of the Minnesota Vikings, but that probably won’t be the case at the start of the 2023 NFL season. Cook, a former second-round pick, is due a massive salary, and seeing as the team re-signed Alexander Mattison to decent money, there are plenty of reasons to believe that Dalvin Cook could be released by the time the 2023 NFL Draft is over and done with.

Dalvin Cook Could Be Released By Minnesota Vikings

End of the Road

There is a reason the NFL unofficially stands for “Not For Long”. Despite being one of the best running backs in football since entering the league, there is a very strong chance that 27-year-old Dalvin Cook has played his last snap in Minnesota. For one, the running back carries a staggering $14.1 million cap hit, which is a lot for a running back. The Vikings can clear $5.89 million in spending money by cutting Cook, or $7.89 million if they find a trade partner. Considering that Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson are both up for contract extensions in the coming years, the Vikings need to free up every spare penny they can.

Additionally, recent comments by General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah heavily imply that Cook’s tenure with the Vikings is all-but over. The two sides reportedly are trying to come to terms on a negotiated contract, but talks do not sound too promising. When asked if he would have signed Alexander Mattison if thought Cook would stay on the roster, Adofo-Mensah said “You know, I think that’s – I think in theory they could exist, of course. Different style of backs. Again, we talk about the systems we’re trying to play. Together, they’re different style of backs. They could fit complementary together, for sure.”

That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of the two-back system. Adofo-Mensah stumbled out of the gate, and then spent the remainder of the his response talking about a theoretical circumstance. It’s clear that he doesn’t want both running backs on the roster, and since Mattison already signed his extension, that means that Dalvin Cook will likely be released.

Where Will Dalvin Cook Sign?

Even though he is entering his age-28 season, Dalvin Cook is still one of the better running backs in the game and has plenty to offer for a Super Bowl contender that could use more help in the backfield. The most obvious fit here is the Kansas City Chiefs. Isiah Pacheco played admirably down the stretch last year, but he’s not a three-down back and he lacks the same explosiveness and vision that Cook possesses. The four-time Pro Bowler would immediately be the best running back on the roster, and his presence could free up Kansas City to use one of their early-round picks on a more important position.

Alternatively, the Buffalo Bills could still use a running back. Going from Devin Singletary to Damien Harris is a lateral move, especially since Harris only signed a one-year deal. The Bills need an upgrade at running back, and Cook’s running style fits perfectly with this offense.

The Miami Dolphins, meanwhile, might have the worst group of running backs in the league. Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson are back, but neither player is anything more than a replacement-level starter. The Dolphins should be trying to improve their run game so Tua Tagovailoa doesn’t have to take any more hits than necessary, and signing Dalvin Cook after his release would be a great way to accomplish that goal.

And last but certainly not least is the Baltimore Ravens. J.K. Dobbins was a fantastic prospect and showed plenty of promise during his rookie year. However, injuries have limited in over the past two seasons, and he didn’t look like his old self even when he did play in 2022. If the Ravens have any worries about his long-term ability, then signing Dalvin Cook makes all the sense in the world.

Main Photo: Matt Krohn – USA Today Sports


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