A day after handing quarterback Kirk Cousins , the Vikings have begun talks of a new deal for running back Dalvin Cook, according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Those talks, Tomasson said, are expected to "ramp up after the Vikings get through free agency," with Minnesota intent on locking up Cook beyond 2020, the final season on his rookie contract.
A second-round draft pick in 2017, Cook has arguably been among the NFL's top running backs when healthy. The Florida State product was an early candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year before tearing his ACL during his rookie season, then finished 2018 strong despite a slow, injury-riddled start and broke out in 2019 as the centerpiece of Minnesota's offense. Awarded his first Pro Bowl nod, Cook finished his third season with a career-high 1,135 yards on the ground while adding more than 500 receiving yards and 13 total touchdowns, helping the Vikings return to the playoffs.
The Vikings' decision to deal Diggs has signaled an even bigger embrace of Cook and the running game for 2020, especially with Cousins, who thrived off play-action designs in 2019, and coach Mike Zimmer seemingly locked into Minnesota's plans for the foreseeable future.