Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook will not participate in any more team-related activities until he receives a "reasonable deal," according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Cook is entering the final year of a rookie contract that has a base salary of $1.3 million for the 2020 season.
A second-round pick in the 2017 draft, Cook rushed for a career-high 1,165 yards and 13 touchdowns last season despite missing two games due to injury. He also caught 53 passes for 519 yards while helping the Vikings advance to the second round of the playoffs.
Earlier this offseason, Vikings general manager Rick Spielmanof the team signing Cook to a long-term deal.
"We've always had history in the past of once we got through the draft, a lot of the extensions we've done, our philosophy has always been [that] hopefully we're drafting well enough that we reward our own players," Spielman said, per ESPN's Courtney Cronin. "Dalvin Cook's a critical part of our offense and not only is he a great football player, but he's a great human being off the field on how he represents our organization out in the community. We'll see where that goes. I'm sure we'll be talking to his representatives here down the road as we get closer. A lot of our stuff has gotten done before we've headed into training camp. But we'll see how everything progresses."
Based on his recent comments about being the NFL's best running backs, it's safe to assume that Cook wants to be one of the highest compensated backs in the league. He is currently the 41st-highest-paid running back in the league, according to Spotrac, directly behind Buffalo's T.J. Yeldon, Detroit's Kerryon Johnson and Washington's J.D. McKissic. The mantle as the league's highest-paid running back currently belongs to Christian McCaffrey, who makes more than $16 million annually after signing an extension with the Panthers earlier this offseason. Ezekiel Elliott ($15 million), Le'Veon Bell ($13.1 million), David Johnson ($13 million) and Derrick Henry ($10.2 million) are the NFL's only running backs that take home more than $10 million on an annual basis. The Vikings currently have about $12.2 million in cap space for the 2020 season, according to Over The Cap.
If Cook holds out for training camp, the new CBA dictates that he would not receive an accrued season and would be a restricted free agent after the 2020 season, which does limit his leverage some. Cook, who said in April that discussions had begun with the Vikings as it relates to a contract extension, expressed his desire to remain with the Vikings for the long haul.
"I definitely love Minnesota," said Cook, via Chris Tomasson of Twin Cities.com. "I love everything the state has to bring. Being a kid, I was drafted from Miami (his hometown), so I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I actually am happy where I'm at, and I would like to be in Minnesota long term."