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Dalvin Cook Rumors: Vikings RB Plans to Hold Out for 'Reasonable' Contract

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIIJune 8, 2020

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) wears cleats as he warms up before an NFL divisional playoff football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook called himself "the best back in the game" to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press in early April, and the 24-year-old wants to be paid like it.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Cook is planning to hold out from "team-related activities until and unless he receives a 'reasonable' deal." 

"He's out," a source added to Schefter. "Without a reasonable extension, he will not be showing up for camp or beyond."

On May 18, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Cook was having "productive talks" toward an extension with the Vikings:

Jeremy Fowler @JFowlerESPN

Will be a big few months for RBs from ‘17 draft class trying to bolster position. Vikings’ Dalvin Cook and Bengals’ Joe Mixon have had productive talks with their teams about new deals, I’m told, though nothing is close at this time. Saints value Alvin Kamara. Others waiting, too https://t.co/s6VfTKj9x9

It's unclear what Cook deems to be a "reasonable" deal, but Schefter reported the two sides aren't close to an agreement at the moment.

"To date, the Vikings' contract proposals to Cook demonstrate that they are a quarterback-first team, per the source. This offseason, the Vikings gave quarterback Kirk Cousins—who had one year left on his deal—a contract extension paying him $30 million per season; Cousins will make $150 million over five seasons. Cook has one year at $1.3 million left on his contract."

Minnesota took Cook in the second round (41st overall) of the 2017 NFL draft.

Per Schefter, the two sides have not spoken since last week.

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Spotrac places Cook's market value at $61.6 million over five years. It lists Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell as comparable players.

Bell signed a four-year, $52.5 million contract with the Jets after holding out from the Pittsburgh Steelers for the entire 2018 season. Elliott received a six-year, $90 million extension right before the beginning of last season, while McCaffrey landed a four-year, $64 million extension—making him the NFL's highest-paid back based on his $16 million average annual salary.

PFF @PFF

Dalvin Cook 6th highest-graded RB in 2019 42nd highest-paid RB in 2020 per OverTheCap https://t.co/0y8xdqEHYj

Cook produced the best statistical campaign of his professional career last season with 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns on 250 carries and 53 catches for 519 yards across 14 regular-season games. The Florida State product played only four games as a rookie before he suffered a torn ACL, and he missed four games in 2018 with a hamstring injury.

Ameer Abdullah, Mike Boone, Tony Brooks-James and Alexander Mattison are the only other running backs on the Vikings roster at the moment. Mattison was the Vikings' second-best running back in 2019 with 462 yards and one touchdown on 100 carries.

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