NFL Rumors: Dalvin Cook Believed to Be Subject of Trade Talks amid Vikings CutsMarch 12, 2023
The Minnesota Vikings "are open for business," and Dalvin Cook may not be spared as they look to retool the roster, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
Fowler reported that "multiple teams believe Minnesota has had trade talks centered around [Cook]." The story comes after the Vikings cut Adam Thielen and Eric Kendricks this offseason.
Cook continues to perform at a high level, and he played a full season for the first time in his career in 2022. The 27-year-old ran for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns and caught 39 passes for 295 yards and two scores en route to his fourth straight Pro Bowl.
That Cook could nonetheless be on his way out partially reflects Minnesota's salary-cap crunch. Even with the departures of Thielen and Kendricks, the Vikings are $6.6 million over the cap for 2023, per Spotrac.
Trading Cook before June 1 would put $6.2 million in dead money on the books but save almost $7.9 million. Waiting until after June 1 would save $11 million with just $3.1 million in dead money for 2023 and 2024, respectively.
In Alexander Mattison, the Vikings might have a replacement at running back. Mattison ran for 1,670 yards and 11 touchdowns in four seasons as Cook's backup.
"If Minnesota parts with Cook, Mattison makes a lot of sense as a respected locker room voice who knows the playbook and has shown flashes," Alec Lewis of The Athletic wrote in February. "He could be a perfect match for a few years (three?) and a doable amount of total contract value ($12 million?)."
Fowler reported "the team is attempting to re-sign" the 24-year-old free agent.
The Vikings might have to act somewhat quickly in regard to Cook, though. The longer Minnesota waits, the more Mattison could consider his options elsewhere, especially if he can be assured of a starting role.