Cook To Hold Out For ‘Reasonable’ Extension From Vikings
Vikings running back Dalvin Cook believes he deserves a contract extension, and he’s willing to hold out to prove it. The Pro Bowler will refrain from participating in any team-related activities until he receives a “reasonable” deal from his franchise.
One source close to Cook said, “He’s out. Without a reasonable extension, he will not be showing up for camp or beyond.”
According to the same source, recent contract proposals sent from Minnesota to Cook have shown that this is a quarterback-first organization. Meanwhile, Cook is an integral part of the offense, and he’s being left out.
This offseason, Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins received an extension that will pay him $150 million over the next five years at $30 million per year. Cousins had one year remaining on his contract when he received that extension.
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Cook also has one year left on his deal. Rather than asking for $30 million per season, Cook simply wants to get paid like a top running back. Currently, Cook is set to make $1.3 million in the final year of his contract.
Part of Cook’s uphill battle stems from the fact that he plays running back — a position that’s not valued like it used to be, and one in which players take a beating early in their careers.
Cook has proven himself to be one of the better running backs in football, and he’s ready to be paid like one.
Cook Seeking Top RB Money
Despite playing just 14 games throughout the 2019 regular season, Cook racked up 1,135 yards (10th in the NFL) and 13 touchdowns (fourth in the NFL among running backs).
Cook was also vital to the Vikings’ stunning win over New Orleans in the opening round of the playoffs a season ago. On 28 carries, Cook rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns and added 36 yards as a receiver.
Since Cook joined the team, the Minnesota offense has looked dangerous with him and pedestrian without him. That gives Cook the leverage he needs to land a new deal, as he finds himself in a similar position as Ezekiel Elliott did last offseason.
After putting together an impressive run of seasons under his first contract, Elliott chose to hold out for a new deal. In the end, Elliott landed a contract paying him $15 million per year, and the Cowboys got 1,357 yards (fourth in NFL) and 12 touchdowns (tied for fifth among running backs) in return.
If Cook receives a new deal, he figures to be among the top-paid guys at his position. That would put him near Christian McCaffrey ($16 million per year), Elliott ($15 million per year), and Le’Veon Bell ($13.1 million per year).
According to reports, Cook and the Vikings have not spoken since last week, and no further talks have been scheduled.
Cook, Vikings Aim to Contend for a Super Bowl
Minnesota has been knocking at the door of the NFC Championship and beyond for several years now. If they’ll finally kick that door down, Cook will likely be a big part of the effort.
With odds of +1400, Cook rounds out the list of leading contenders to win the rushing title in 2020. He trails Derrick Henry (+750), McCaffrey (+1000), Elliott (+1000), Nick Chubb (+1300), and Saquon Barkley (+1300).
That puts Cook in a similar position as his team, as the Vikings are tied for the seventh-best odds of winning the NFC at +1300.
San Francisco leads the way with odds of +460, followed closely by New Orleans (+650) and Tampa Bay (+700). The Cowboys (+850), Eagles (+1000), and Seahawks (+1000) sit ahead of Minnesota as well.
With Cook, the Vikings are likely to be a playoff team. Without Cook, Minnesota could struggle to reach the postseason.