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The Minnesota Vikings have informed running back Dalvin Cook that he is being released Thursday, a source confirmed to OutKick.
So the dynamic running back will be on the loose.
Let the chase begin.
The Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos, which had communication with the Vikings about a possible Cook trade earlier this offseason, are expected to explore signing the looming free agent.
The Dallas Cowboys, which had internal conversations about Cook when rumors of his availability emerged, may consider Cook.
Dolphins, Bills Among Teams Dalvin Cook Likes
Cook has included the Buffalo Bills among the teams he’d be interested in joining, per sources. The reason for that is James Cook, his brother is already on the Bills roster. It is unclear what level of interest, if any, the Bills would have particularly with their tight salary cap situation.
Cook is a native of South Florida and has also expressed a willingness to play for his hometown team. The Dolphins have a fully stocked backfield, whose players have ample experience. And Miami drafted Devon Achane out of Texas A&M in April.
But Dalvin Cook obviously remains a temptation.
The Baltimore Ravens, with a backfield ravaged by injuries in recent years, would make sense if they could fit Cook under the cap. The Bengals would make sense if they’re willing to move on from Joe Mixon, which was discussed earlier this offseason, but so far doesn’t seem to be the plan.
Cook should have a busy market because he’s been one of the NFL’s most productive backs. He has four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and has scored 43 touchdowns in those four seasons.
Reason Dalvin Cook Is Available
The reason the Vikings are releasing Cook is because they wished to get out from under his contract. That contract called for Cook to be paid $10.4 million this year and over $36 million the next three seasons.
The Vikings asked Cook to take a pay cut earlier this offseason and he declined. The Vikings tried to trade Cook but no other team was willing to take on the contract and pay the Vikings compensation.
That contract issue remains for Cook. He obviously won’t want to sign a bargain contract. At age 27, he believes he’s worth a full-on multi-year deal that gives him some security the next couple of years at least.
But with many teams already spent to their salary cap budgets, a big multi-year deal might be difficult to find
The Vikings, meanwhile, moved on long ago.
They scrubbed Cook from their social media accounts in May. Yes, seems childish but it was a significant sign, it turns out.
The club now moves on with Alexander Mattison as its starting running back. Mattison has been Cook’s understudy the past four years and he’s been solid in that role.
But he’s not as dynamic as Cook. He’s averaged under 4 yards per carry each of the last two seasons. Last season, Cook averaged 4.4 yards per carry and that was a carry low.