Minnesota Vikings Set to Release Dalvin Cook: What’s Next for the Running Back?

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Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings have made the decision to part ways with their star running back, Dalvin Cook. According to a source close to the situation, the team plans to release Cook if they are unable to trade him before Friday. This marks the end of Cook’s six-year tenure with the Vikings, and it has sparked interest from the Miami Dolphins, who are reportedly looking to sign him once he becomes a free agent.

At 28 years old, Cook’s cap space for 2023 amounts to $14.1 million, a significant financial burden for an aging running back. With over 1,500 career touches, the Vikings considered it best to move on from Cook. If the release takes place after June 1, the team will save $9 million in cap space while taking on $5.1 million in dead money for the 2023 season.

The Dolphins, led by coach Mike McDaniel, have expressed interest in Cook’s services. However, McDaniel refrained from commenting on the situation, praising his current group of running backs, including Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr., Myles Gaskin, and rookie Devon Achane. Despite this, the possibility of Cook joining the Dolphins remains open.

The Vikings’ decision to release Cook comes after they re-signed Alexander Mattison, Cook’s long-time backup, to a contract that includes significant guarantees. The move cast doubt on Cook’s future with the team, and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah refused to speculate on whether Cook would be on the roster in 2023. Mattison is expected to step into the primary tailback role, while other players like Kene Nwangwu, Ty Chandler, and possibly rookie DeWayne McBride will compete for the secondary roles.

Throughout his career in Minnesota, Cook faced numerous injuries, including a torn ACL during his rookie season. However, he managed to achieve four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and showcased his versatility as a receiver. In the 2022 season, he started every game for the first time, despite a shoulder injury. However, his performance declined under the team’s new scheme, with lower touch and yardage averages compared to previous years.

Cook’s efficiency numbers also suffered, with a high number of carries resulting in no gain or a loss. Despite a few notable long runs, his overall effectiveness decreased. To address his shoulder issues, Cook underwent surgery in February, with the Vikings expecting a full recovery before the regular season. However, his absence from the voluntary offseason program and subsequent release indicate a definitive split between Cook and the Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings’ decision to release Dalvin Cook has left the running back searching for a new team. With the Miami Dolphins showing interest, Cook’s future in the NFL remains uncertain. His past achievements and potential contributions make him an enticing prospect for teams in need of a dynamic running back. As the offseason progresses, the football world eagerly awaits Cook’s next destination.