To say that the Minnesota Vikings could be in trouble without Dalvin Cook might be an understatement.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday afternoon that Dalvin Cook will not participate with any activities involving the team until a new deal is reached.
Cook currently has just one more year on his deal that is worth $1.3 million. It’s been reported that Cook is looking for a contract in the same area as David Johnson made with the Arizona Cardinals. That deal was worth around $13 million per year.
Why Won’t Minnesota Pay Cook?
While Cook is regarded as one of the top running backs in the league, there is a big reason Minnesota won’t match his price. It all comes down with durability.
Cook tore his ACL during his rookie season back in 2017 that left him with only four games played. In 2018, a hamstring injury kept him out of five games during the season. Last season went better for him with only missing two games and having career-high numbers.
Despite his great season in 2019, missing 19 games in three seasons is not encouraging for a running back. A position that is demanding on the body requires a back to be durable. Last year was a good start, but Minnesota looks at this season as a “prove it” year for Cook.
Talent isn’t what he needs to prove because fans and the team knows what he can do. He’s a tough runner who can also catch the ball out of the backfield well. Cook needs to prove he can stay healthy and be their feature back.
Should the Vikings Open Their Checkbook?
Kirk Cousins got a big payday this offseason as he looks to be the franchise quarterback for a while. Stefon Diggs is gone after he was traded to Buffalo. The addition of Justin Jefferson in the draft has a nice touch, but who knows how good he will become.
With all of that said about their offseason moves, the Vikings should pay Cook, but maybe not right now.
When Cook is on the field, there’s no denying he’s one of their top players on offense. Having a strong running game helps Cousins perform well. Cook is needed to help the offense stay balanced and move down the field.
The problem is trusting that he can stay healthy and pay him before knowing that. Los Angeles Rams felt that pain with Todd Gurley where he got hurt a couple of years ago and never was the same. The Rams paid him a big contract before the injury and they had to cut him to save money on the deal.
Obviously, the Vikings don’t want Cook to holdout. We’ve seen it with Melvin Gordon and Ezekiel Elliott the past year fighting for a new contract. Elliott got his deal, but Gordon lost millions of dollars from his holdout.
Cook would be playing with fire if he holds out and he might not win. That’s the risk he seems to be willing to take. The real question comes on who will cave in first.