The Minnesota Vikings and their star running back have broken off contract negotiations according to NFL Network. Dalvin Cook arrived at camp on time and said he had no real plans of holding out in 2020.
Cook has been held out of some of the first team reps while Alexander Mattison has been seeing a heavier workload during the first week of training camp.
Cook will be a free agent after the 2020 season, which he is scheduled to make $1.3 million from. When Cook has been healthy he’s been one of the top running backs in the NFL. However, the 2021 running back free agent class isn’t going to do him any favors.
A few of the free agents joining Cook after 2020 consist of Alvin Kamara, James Conner, Joe Mixon, Leonard Fournette, Aaron Jones and several more.
In 2019 he was the most productive player for the Vikings, and it was clear the team struggled when he was on the sideline. He finished the year with 1,135 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, tacking on an additional 519 yards through the air.
If Cook wants to get his payday he will need to have back to back good seasons for the Vikings. He’s had injury concerns over his first three seasons in Minnesota, something that needs to change heading into the final year on his rookie contract.
The franchise tag is another option for the Vikings, who this year used it on safety Anthony Harris. The salary cap could go down in 2021 with lingering COVID-19 issues around the NFL, another potential issue for Cook getting the payday he’s seeking.
Running backs have battled with contracts annually over the last several years, with Melvin Gordon and Le'Veon Bell being two of the more recent to do so. It’s clear that Cook is one of the most talented at his position when he’s healthy, but the Vikings haven’t offered him the money he’s looking for.
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