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NFL | Jun 09

Minnesota Vikings Dump Dalvin Cook

Minnesota Vikings Dump Dalvin Cook
Dalvin Cook #4 of the Minnesota Vikings | Stephen maturen/getty images/afp

Teams should realize paying running backs is a mistake

It’s becoming more and more obvious that teams shouldn’t pay running backs big money in the NFL. The Dallas Cowboys were paying a ton of money to Ezekiel Elliott but had to cut him this offseason due to his declining production. Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook will now be joining him in free agency, as per the latest NFL news.

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According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Vikings are planning to release Cook barring a last-second trade materializing. Minnesota’s decision has been one of the worst-kept secrets in the NFL. For months, there have been NFL rumors that the two sides were going to part ways. This comes just three years after the Vikings gave Cook a five-year contract worth $63 million. He didn’t cut due to his play on the field.

He’s coming off a year where he rushed for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s rushed for over 1,100 yards in four straight seasons. So why was he cut if he’s only 27 and still playing at a high level? Cook getting cut is further proof that paying running backs is almost always something that teams end up regretting.

It’s far easier to replace a productive running back than it is to replace other positions on a team. Running backs are still very important to a team’s success but good ones are consistently found in the draft. Luckily for Cook, he won’t be a free agent long. There are multiple teams expected to be interested in him but the Miami Dolphins stand out as the most obvious choice. He’s from Florida and the team already previously tried to trade for him.

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The Dolphins’ offense is ripe with offensive talent but could use an upgrade at running back. Raheem Mostert is a solid running back but isn’t on the same level as Cook. Miami is ready to take the next step toward Super Bowl contention after making the playoffs last season. Adding a player like Cook would only help their chances. If you bet on NFL games, keep an eye out for him.

For the Vikings, they’ll be handing the keys to Alexander Mattison, who was a third-round pick of the team in 2019. He’ll finally get a chance to show that he is a worthwhile replacement for Cook. However, he has never rushed for more than 491 yards in a season and doesn’t have the same explosive speed. It’s a risky move for a good Vikings team to make but perhaps they never should’ve paid Cook in the first place.

This is a situation the Las Vegas Raiders and New York Giants should be watching. Josh Jacobs and Saquon Barkley are both on the franchise tag right now and are holding out hopes to get long-term deals. Almost every running back who has gotten a big contract in recent years has not finished it with the team he signed it with. While Jacobs and Barkley are important pieces for their teams, it’s becoming more and more obvious that paying running backs is a mistake. Even consistently productive ones like Cook couldn’t prove they were worth it to their teams.

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