The Minnesota Vikings are from four-time Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook as expected, despite each of his four Pro Bowl appearances coming in the past four seasons. The Vikings plan to release the only player in the NFL to run for more than 1,100 yards in each of the past four seasons because they apparently didn't want to pay Cook, who turns 28 on Aug. 10, at his $10.4 million base salary in 2023. Minnesota will save $9 million in cap space by cutting him.
The Miami Central High School alum's local pro team, the Miami Dolphins, were reported as "a real possibility," per the Miami Herald prior to his release, and the new free agent is adding credence to that report with his latest Instagram post: a photo of him dancing after the Vikings defeated the Dolphins 24-16 in Week 6 of the 2022 season. Cook ran for 77 yards, 53 of them on a game-sealing touchdown run with 3:15 left in the game, on 13 carries.
At the beginning of the NFL offseason in March, SI.com reported that the Vikings and Dolphins came close to a trade that would have sent Cook to Miami. The Dolphins' interest is certainly real. After the deal fell apart, the Vikings continued to ponder a potential pay cut, and even reportedly discussed the idea of using Cook more sparingly by giving his backup Alexander Mattison more touches.
Head coach Kevin O'Connell went out of his way to praise Cook's backup, Alexander Mattison, as a " " back last week. Mattison re-signed with the franchise on a two-year, $7 million contract this offseason.