Since the NFL Scouting Combine in March — when Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah failed to commit to whether running back Dalvin Cook would be on the team for the 2023 season — it's been heavily rumored Cook was on his way out.
According to SI's Albert Breer, the Vikings and Miami Dolphins were close to a trade for the star running back in March but it fell apart. Following that, the Dolphins drafted Texas A&M running back Devon Achane.
On Thursday, the Vikings released Cook, according to multiple reports. He joins wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins among big-name free agents in June.
The #Vikings and four-time Pro Bowl RB Dalvin Cook are parting ways, per source.
One of the NFL?s most dynamic playmakers, Cook is coming off a fourth straight 1,000-yard season and has 52 career TDs. Now he?ll be a free agent at age 27 and will have multiple suitors. pic.twitter.com/kJUIi9XP6O
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) June 8, 2023
The Vikings will start Alexander Mattison, with DeWayne McBride — a seventh-round draft pick and former UAB running back — backing him up.
Since Cook's release, ESPN's Adam Schefter has reported that the Dolphins and Denver Broncos want to sign the 27-year-old four-time Pro Bowl player.
The Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos are two of the teams that are expected to have an interest in signing running back Dalvin Cook once he officially is released, per sources. There likely will be others, but those two have been monitoring Cook for weeks.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 8, 2023
However, as The 33rdTeam's Ari Meirov points out, the life of a running back is tough right now.
Life of an NFL RB in 2023?
Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliott, Kareem Hunt and Leonard Fournette are all free agents.
Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs have not signed their franchise tag tenders yet.
The position from a financial standpoint is not what it once was.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) June 8, 2023
Of that group listed above, Cook, Ezekiel Elliott and Kareem Hunt are all the same age at 27 and turning 28.
That said, Cook has easily been the most productive, including 264 carries for 1,173 yards, eight touchdowns, 39 receptions for 295 yards, and two touchdowns last season.
So now, with reports of the Dolphins and Broncos being interested, where does Cook ultimately sign?
Expect Dalvin Cook to Swim With the Dolphins
Cook grew up in Miami and was born there on Aug. 10, 1995. He attended Miami Central High School, and when he opted to go to Florida State over Miami, that was viewed as a big deal by many in the community.
Now, Cook has a chance to return home to finish his career.
While the other running backs may be having issues with contracts and the financial side of things, Cook has an opportunity to go back home — likely on the cheap — and help a running back room with Achane, Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr. and more compete.
The team is loaded and ready to go. And Cook, although he'd be in a backfield with many names, would be the starter.
No odds are posted for Cook's next landing spot, but this seems like a match made in heaven for the team and the player.
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