The Dalvin Cook era is over in Minnesota. After six seasons as a focal point of the Vikings' offense, the star running back is headed elsewhere in 2023, with the team reportedly barring a last-minute trade offer. Meanwhile, two potential suitors have distinguished themselves as front-runners, according to ESPN, with the Broncos and Dolphins already set to pursue the veteran.
"There likely will be others," Adam Schefter reported Thursday, "but those two have been monitoring Cook for weeks."
Denver and Miami figure to make tangible strides toward potentially adding Cook once the running back is officially released, which won't occur until at least Friday, per NFL Media. The Vikings are still hopeful a team will make a trade offer before the release is processed, and it's possible the Broncos or Dolphins could extend a late-round draft pick to ensure they acquire Cook, though that would involve absorbing the lofty contract Minnesota has been looking to unload.
Cook's exit, after all, has more to do with money than production. Coming off his fourth straight 1,100-yard season, the former second-round draft pick was due more than $14 million annually through 2025, thanks to an extension signed in 2020.
The Broncos already have a promising first-team RB in Javonte Williams, but the third-year back is recovering from ACL and LCL tears that cost him most of the 2022 season. The Dolphins, meanwhile, have consistently been linked to Cook, who is originally from Miami. They re-signed Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. in free agency, then spent a third-round pick on Devon Achane, but have clearly been interested in adding electricity to an offense already stocked with speed.