According to report sent to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Minnesota Vikings have informed running back Dalvin Cook that they plan to release him, bringing an end to his six-year tenure.
According to the source, the Vikings were expected to try to trade Cook one more time on Thursday, but now plan to process his release Friday.
The Miami Dolphins have signified interest to sign Dalvin Cook once he is out from the Vikings, the source added.
Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel Thursday, when asked about the plan on totake in Cook, declined to comment and complimented his current group of running backs – Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr. and Myles Gaskin and rookie Devon Achane.
“Overall, very happy with the way they’ve practiced, very happy with their competitive camaraderie,” McDaniel said. “They are all trying to be the best, but they’re not doing it in spite of each other and they recognize that each one of them can help them get better, so it’s been a cool camp for them.”
Cook, who will be 28-years-old in August was to take up $14.1 million in cap space for 2023 and was due to earn $11 million if he completed the season with the Vikings.
The Vikings would save $9 million in cap space while taking on $5.1 million in dead money on their 2023 cap by releasing him.
The crack between Cook and Vikings became eminent when Vikings re-signed Cook’s longtime backup, Alexander Mattison, to a contract that included $6.35 million in full guarantees over the next few seasons.
General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah have also refused to speculate whether Cook would continue to be on the Vikings’ 2023 roster.
Dalvin Cook came onboard the Vikings team as a second round pick, but he has been grounded many times due to injuries, especially at the early part of his career.
His rookie season ended after four games due to a torn ACL, and other host of injuries saw him missing in about two and five games in each of the next four seasons, while a chronic shoulder injury made him to wear a harness for long stretches of his career in Minnesota.
Despite his barage of injuries, he had four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons between 2019 to 2022 and scored a combined 29 rushing touchdowns during the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He also proved himself as an effective receiver after his rookie year, averaging 42 receptions per season.
Despite separating his shoulder in Week 3 2022, Cook managed to start every game – the first time in his career. However, he finished with an average of 17.8 touches and 86 yards – the lowest since he became a full-time player in 2019.
But the same year saw him hit two of the six longest runs of his career. A 53-yard score in Week 6 against the Miami Dolphins and an 81-yard touchdown in Week 10 against the Buffalo Bills. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, on the game against the Buffalo Bills, he clocked a top speed of 21.68 mph, the seventh-fastest speed of any ball carrier in 2022.
He nontheless had efficiency numbers – which measure the frequency of carries that produce a positive outcome, with 62 carries that either lost or did not gain a yard.
According to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell, only 34.5% of his carries gained a positive total of yards over expectation in Next Gen Stats’ model, the second-lowest rate among running backs with at least 200 carries in 2022.
Dalvin Cook’s shoulder was operated on in February 14, 2023, and the Vikings said he would fully recover before the regular season. However, he has not been participating in the voluntary portion of the Vikings’ offseason program.