Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook caused waves this offseason with plans to sit out training camp and the 2020 season without a massive contract extension. With only a few days before camp begins, Cook’s holdout could already be nearing its end.
Latest on Dalvin Cook’s contract holdout
When the Vikings opened negotiations with their Pro Bowl runner, he found their first offer to be disrespectful. The sizable gap between the proposals from both parties led to Cook’s holdout.
Heading into the 2020 NFL season without Stefon Diggs, Minnesota’s offense can’t afford to lose another incredible talent. Fortunately for Mike Zimmer, who just signed an extension, Cook might show up after all.
ESPN’s Courtney Cronin explained why she expects Cook to report to the team within the first week of training camp. One big reason, the NFL’s new CBA mandates a $55,000 fine for each day a player holds out and the team can’t rescind those penalties.
Even worse for Cook, he would lose an accrued season of service if he holds out this year. In that scenario, he would be a restricted free agent, which would hurt his potential earnings, instead of an unrestricted free agent next offseason.
While Cook is without any real leverage in this situation, Cronin still believes he and the Vikings could agree on a resolution quickly. Minnesota signed Everson Griffen and Xavier Rhodes to contract extension in July 2017 then Diggs signed a five-year deal in July 2018.
Dalvin Cook’s stats showcase risk, reward of long-term contract
The Vikings don’t necessarily have to sign Cook to a long-term contract. Alexander Mattison, a third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, averaged 4.6 yards per carry in his rookie season and looked like a future star. But, there’s no denying the impact Cook makes on this offense.
Minnesota loves to run the football and it routinely looks for ways to put the ball in Cook’s hands. He racked up 1,654 scrimmage yards this past season in only 14 games, making a huge impact as both a runner and receiver.
When Cook is healthy, there are few running backs capable of making the number of plays he does. However, he has already missed 19 games in three seasons with a torn ACL (2017), a hamstring injury (2018) and an upper-body injury (2019).
If both sides can take time and negotiate a deal, he could still become one of the NFL’s highest-paid running backs. While he won’t match Christian McCaffrey’s deal, Cook could surpass Derrick Henry’s contract and even match David Johnson ($13 million annually).