The Minnesota Vikings reportedly “absolutely love” running back Dalvin Cook amid rumors about discussion of a lucrative, long-term contract extension.
Jay Glazer of The Athletic responded to a question Wednesday about whether the Vikings should sign Cook to a new deal or attempt to find a cheaper alternative for the future.
“Extension. Running backs are hard to do extensions with, and we’ve seen them not work out with guys in recent years,” Glazer wrote. “Teams can see if they can get guys later in the draft, but I think Cook is special. When a team has someone who is different and special, he is a difference-maker. Plus, they absolutely love him there. They love the dude. I would give him an extension.”
Cook is heading into the final season of his rookie contract, which includes a base salary of $1.3 million, per Spotrac.
In June, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the 24-year-old Florida State product wasn’t going to take part in any team activities until he received a “reasonable” offer.
“He’s out,” a source told Schefter. “Without a reasonable extension, he will not be showing up for camp or beyond.”
It’s unclear whether the “beyond” includes potentially sitting out regular-season games.
Cook initially sought a deal exceeding the $16 million annually Christian McCaffrey received in his new contract, but the Vikings’ first proposal was less than $10 million, according to Courtney Cronin of ESPN. He’d “gladly take” an offer in the $13 million range.
In April, the 2019 Pro Bowl selection told Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press he wanted to stay with the franchise for the long haul.
“I definitely love Minnesota,” he said. “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.”
Cook, who made just 15 total appearances over his first two NFL seasons because of injuries, enjoyed a breakout season last year. He rushed for 1,135 yards on 250 carries (4.5 per carry) with 13 touchdowns and caught 53 passes for 519 yards. His 1,654 yards from scrimmage ranked seventh in the NFL.
His projected $1.3 million in total cash for 2020 ranks 48th among running backs, while an extension worth $13 million would skyrocket him up to fourth on the list, according to Spotrac.
Alexander Mattison, a third-round pick in 2019, would be in line to take over as the Vikings’ starter if Cook’s holdout extends into the regular season. Ameer Abdullah and Mike Boone could also see a significant uptick in playing time under that scenario.
Minnesota is scheduled to open the campaign Sept. 13 against the NFC North rival Green Bay Packers.