Dalvin Cook potentially winding up with the Miami Dolphins has been one of the hottest topics in the NFL offseason rumor mill, but one insider says it might not be as clear-cut as one would think.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wrote that Cook and the Dolphins could certainly make something work if the Minnesota Vikings were to part with the standout running back, but he added that there are a lot of factors at play.
“For those asking if Dalvin Cook to the Dolphins is a done deal, I have been led to believe it’s not a done deal,” Jackson wrote.
“Could Cook end up here? Absolutely. It’s certainly a real possibility if he’s cut by Minnesota. There would be interest on both sides.
“But from my understanding, there’s not some secret agreement between the parties.
“In fact, it’s not certain that the Vikings will release Cook if they remain unsuccessful in finding a trade partner. He could conceivably agree to a pay cut, or the Vikings could hold onto him into training camp, hoping a trade option becomes available if a team loses its starting running back to an injury.
“If they ultimately do release him, I would expect a Dolphins pursuit — but likely not at a salary close to the $10.4 million he’s due to make this season. Of that $10.4 million, only $2 million is guaranteed.
“Though South Florida is home for Cook and he would love to play here if he’s not in Minnesota, it’s difficult to envision Cook rejecting a significantly higher offer from another team. And until he’s on the open market, it’s impossible to tell how much he could command.”
The 27-year-old Miami native would give the Dolphins another weapon to deploy as part of their dynamic offense. Already with speedy wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, the Dolphins would be getting an accomplished every-down running back in Cook to help quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
The Dolphins have made it clear that they are trying to upgrade their backfield. They reportedly inquired about D’Andre Swift at one point before he was traded from the Detroit Lions to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Miami has running backs Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. and added promising youngster De’Von Achane in the 2023 NFL Draft, but Cook is much more daunting for opponents, as long as he can stay on the field.
Last season, Cook gained 1,173 yards rushing with eight touchdowns and added 39 receptions for 295 yards and two touchdowns. It was his first NFL season in which he was able to play in every game. In the 2020 campaign, he gained 1,557 yards rushing and had 17 total touchdowns in just 14 games.
Cook reportedly has targeted the Dolphins and Buffalo Bills as potential landing spots if he does leave the Vikings. Cook’s brother James plays for the Bills, so Miami’s AFC East rivals have something to offer that the Dolphins can’t. A bidding war between Miami and Buffalo could get very interesting and might swing the balance of power in the division.
Minnesota does have Alexander Mattison available to replace Dalvin Cook. But until the Vikings ultimately decide what to do about their own backfield, the Dolphins and the rest of the NFL will remain in a holding pattern.