This offseason has been pretty tumultuous for Dalvin Cook’s Minnesota Vikings. The team was involved in a major trade a few weeks ago, shipping unhappy star wide receiver Stefon Diggs out to the Buffalo Bills for a first-round pick and other draft capital.
The team still has some big time playmakers. Adam Thielen formed a pretty dynamic 1-2 punch with Diggs at receiver. He’ll now have an expanded role. Cook is also coming off of his best year in the NFL, and he’s not shy about making big statements about his place in the league.
“I consider myself the best back in the game,” he told the Pioneer Press on Thursday. “The things I do coming out of the backfield, the things I do in between the tackles, I block, I pretty much do it all. I don’t have to come off the field.”
Cook ran for 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns on 250 carries last year. He is also very dangerous out of the backfield, with 53 catches for 519 yards. Those 1,600+ yards from scrimmage came in 14 games last fall. Unlike his now-former teammate Diggs, he wants to keep putting up those numbers in the Twin Cities.
From today's paper, #Vikings RB Dalvin Cook says he's the "best back" in the NFL and wants to remain "long term" in Minnesota. The Vikings are in talks to potentially sign him to a long-term extension. https://t.co/sGb1u9m3Mn
— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) April 10, 2020
Per Chris Tomasson’s report, the Vikings and Dalvin Cook are discussing a long-term deal. Paying a running back, especially one with the injury history of Cook, is always a tough move to figure out. Players at the position often have their top value early in their careers, while under their rookie deals.
Cook is set to make over $1.3 million this fall, the final year of his rookie contract. He hits unrestricted free agency in 2021, so if Minnesota wants to commit to him for the future, it behooves them to try and get something done before he hits the open market.
“I definitely love Minnesota,” Cook said in the interview, admitting that he had some hesitations about heading up north after being drafted. Things have changed after four years with the team. “I love everything the state has to bring. Being a kid, I was drafted from Miami, so I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I actually am happy where I’m at, and I would like to be in Minnesota long term.”
We’ll see if the two sides figure that out. Free agency hasn’t been overly kind to some other major running backs, like Le’Veon Bell ahead of last season. It makes sense for both sides to figure something out ahead of this year.