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Vikings OC Gary Kubiak Reacts to Dalvin Cook's Potential Contract Holdout

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2020

FILE - In this June 13, 2019, file photo, Minnesota Vikings assistant head coach and offensive advisor Gary Kubiak watches quarterbacks during drills at the team's NFL football training facility in Eagan, Minn. The Vikings have chosen Kubiak as their offensive coordinator. He fills the vacancy created by Kevin Stefanski's departure to become head coach of the Cleveland Browns. The widely expected move was confirmed by a person with knowledge of the decision. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the club had not yet made the announcement. The 58-year-old Kubiak served as offensive adviser and assistant to head coach Mike Zimmer this season. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton- King, File)
Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak isn't sweating the possibility of Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook holding out in pursuit of a new contract.

"That's part of the business," Kubiak said of Cook's situation Wednesday, per the Pioneer Press' Dane Mizutani. "We all understand that. Those guys will do their job. We have to stay focused on our job as a football team moving forward."

Cook is entering the final year of his rookie deal and will earn a little more than $1.3 million in 2020.

A source told ESPN's Adam Schefter on June 8 the 24-year-old would likely hold out in the absence of an extension: "He's out. Without a reasonable extension, he will not be showing up for camp or beyond."

Cook is coming off a career year. He finished with 1,135 rushing yards, 519 receiving yards and 13 total touchdowns.

NFL @NFL

15 👏 TDs 👏 EVERY @dalvincook touchdown from the regular season and playoffs! https://t.co/iibeyl3uXs

Cook is not the first running back in recent years to hold out for long-term financial security in his peak performing years. Ezekiel Elliott utilized that strategy to great success and earn a six-year, $90 million contract with the Dallas Cowboys.

However, Le'Veon Bell and Melvin Gordon showed how the gambit can backfire too.

Bell missed the entire 2018 season before signing a four-year, $52.5 million contract with the New York Jets, which wasn't the historic kind of benchmark some wondered if he could hit. Gordon, meanwhile, returned to the Los Angeles Chargers after missing four games and then signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Denver Broncos this offseason.

Unless Cook is prepared to sit out the entire year, Kubiak will be leaning heavily on the 2017 second-round pick. If he is forced to turn to others, 2019 third-round pick Alexander Mattison figures see his workload receive a major boost.

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