Adam Schefter reported late Monday afternoon that Dalvin Cook intends to holdout until a new contract is reached with the Vikings. Sources have reported that Cook is looking to get paid similarly to what the Carolina Panthers star running back was paid earlier this offseason.
Christian McCaffrey was given a deal that pays him $16 million dollars per year, an amount the Vikings couldn't afford without making more cuts to the roster. When comparing the two statistically, it’s no question that both Cook and McCaffrey are two of the best at the running back positions. However, McCaffrey has the better numbers which includes games played.
In 2019 McCaffrey ran the ball 287 times for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also caught 116 passes for 1,005 yards and four touchdowns. Cook had his breakout season in 2019 but his numbers don’t match up as well to McCaffrey.
Cook ran the ball 250 times for 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns. Through the air he caught the ball 53 times for 519 yards and zero touchdowns.
Putting all of the numbers together, McCaffrey had 2,392 all-purpose yards for 19 total touchdowns whereas Cook finished with 1,654 yards and 13 touchdowns. The numbers alone show that McCaffrey was far more productive in the 2019 campaign.
Taking that one step further, both running backs came into the league at the same time. Until McCaffrey got his payday, they were both playing on rookie contracts. Since McCaffrey came into the league in 2017, he has played in all 48 of his regular season games. Cook has battled several injuries since his arrival in the NFL and has only played in 29 of the possible 48 regular season games.
Durability at the running back position is critical and Cook hasn’t been nearly as durable of a player as McCaffrey. This needs to be taken into consideration when the Vikings continue their contract negotiations with their star running back.
It’s clear that when Cook is on the field he is one of the most versatile running backs in the league. The talent is comparable to that of McCaffrey’s, but Cook has yet to play a full season for the Vikings.
Although he is the most versatile running back the Vikings have had in years, all these issues need to be taken into consideration. There’s no question whether Cook deserves a big pay or not, but the payday might end up being too much for the Vikings to pursue.
ESPN’s Courtney Cronin said the Vikings first offer was below $10 million so it’s clear the two sides still have some negotiating in front of them. Looking at the numbers and the durability concerns, a contract similar McCaffrey’s doesn’t seem to make sense for the Vikings.