Dalvin Cook Would Choose Trade Over Pay Cut

Photo: Brad Rempel - USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings general manager, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, has a lot of decisions to make over the next month or two, as he and his coaching staff navigate the early stages of the NFL offseason and decide which players from their 2022-23 roster will cross the bridge with the team to 2023-24.

Now that Brian Flores has been hired as defensive coordinator, we can expect news to start releasing on the plethora of strings that need to be pulled on that side of the ball. Offensively, we’ve already looked at the center position dilemma, from multiple angles, and what’s next for Kirk Cousins.

Dalvin Cook Not Interested in a Pay Cut

But today’s news/discussion comes out of the backfield and involves running back, Dalvin Cook, who will count $14.1 million against the salary cap next season. That number is 6th-highest among running backs and seems untenable for a cap-strapped team that throws the ball more than any other in the league.

Because of that, the expectation around town is that Dalvin will have to take a pay cut and restructure his contract if he wants to be on the Vikings’ roster next year. Cook and his representation, on the other hand, aren’t down for that, according to Darren Wolfson (01:37 mark – partly transcribed below).

“Right now, as we sit here on February 7, Dalvin [Cook] is not inclined to take a pay cut.”

“My sense is, right now, that Dalvin has told some people close to him that, ‘hey, there’s no reason for me to take a pay cut.’ If the Vikings want to, there can be a trade market out there.”

Darren Wolfson – Mackey & Judd Podcast
Both Sides are Right.

Doogie goes on to mention multiple teams who have already shown or would be likely to show interest in a guy like Dalvin Cook. Those teams include the Bears, Jaguars, Eagles and Broncos. Wolfson projects the Vikings could realistically require a draft pick anywhere from the 3rd to 5th round in return for Cook.

Neither Cook nor the Vikings are wrong in their assessment of Dalvin’s value. The market and his performance say he is worth the $14 million he will make next season. But it’s also true that Kwesi & Co could find a better place to spend that much money.

In other words, an amicable parting of ways between Dalvin Cook and the Minnesota Vikings seems inevitable.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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