The next major running back cut is on the horizon, with the Vikings reportedly trying to Dalvin Cook before the 4 p.m. ET deadline that would prevent the team moving on without incurring a significant cap penalty. Cook joins Ezekiel Elliott and Christian McCaffrey among the high-paid RB extension players who have either been cut or traded due to their cap hit exceeding their worth on the field.
It’s wild to think we’re in this position again, but it’s just how the NFL is moving now. Two years ago Cook was seen as one of the top running backs in the league, and the No. 2 all-purpose back behind McCaffrey. Now the Vikings would be lucky to get a mid-round conditional pick due to his salary.
There are two outcomes when it comes to a trade:
Minnesota finds a team willing to take on Cook’s contract and gets very little in return
They have to eat some of his salary to facilitate a deal, which could get them a slightly higher pick
Neither of these situations is guaranteed, or even likely. Cook was able to play every game last season, but has a history of missing time due to injury. This is coupled with the fact that the RB underwent shoulder surgery in the offseason to repair damage he sustained in 2019, adding more murkiness to a possible trade. We’re left with a supremely talented back when healthy, but needing a very specific home.