Vikings Are Team Smiling After Derrick Henry Inks Long Term Deal with Titans

Photo Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the madness that is the NFL franchise tag deadline. First, it was Anthony Harris who didn’t get his long term money from the Vikings, after failing to agree to terms on an extension this afternoon. Moments later, Tennessee Titans running back, Derrick Henry, did sign long-term.

After the Titans and Henry appeared to be at odds as recently as this morning, the tides seemed to change within hours. All day long, most around the league would have given a way better chance of Harris signing with the Vikings, than Henry with the Titans… Sports are back.

Henry’s fresh new deal is reportedly worth $50 million over four years, with $25.5 million guaranteed. Henry signed a franchise-tag, worth $10.37 million, back in April.

But this isn’t a Titans blog. We’re far from it. Instead, this blog is being written because of the way it indirectly affects the Minnesota Vikings. This deal has huge implications for the team and their ongoing negotiations with “holdout”, Dalvin Cook?


As I wrote after Dalvin announced his holdout, the Vikings would be stupid to give him the money he wants. With a $15-16 million/year original asking price (best running back in the league money), Dalvin was asking for way more than the organization was ever going to give him (or what they could even afford). Cook only plays 59% of snaps compared to McCaffrey’s, who did get that money, insane 93% (

Cook’s asking price is a far cry from what the Vikings are reportedly offering, which is around $8 million per year. A deal like that is much more comparable to Melvin Gordon.

It is even more than what Henry has just signed for. Henry’s deal comes out to be around $12.5 million per year. That is AFTER he was the NFL’s leading rusher in 2019 and has remained healthy his entire career, missing just two games in 4 seasons.

But we live in a world where athletes continually overvalue themselves and have egos the size of the sun. So expecting Cook to just roll over is a fool’s errand.


Technically, Cook can’t hold out of training camp, per the new rules of the CBA. Now, you have real money coming in on the low end for another RB, who is comparable in his usage and importance to his team. The Minnesota Vikings hold just about all of the cards, at this point.

Unless Cook is willing to holdout for actual games this season… his options are limited. Even if that did happen (it won’t) the Vikings have an up-and-comer in the form of Alexander Mattison, who is one of the best backups in the NFL. Look at the 2021 RB free agency class, too…

The deeper you dig into it, the worse it looks for Cook, if he doesn’t come way down from his original ask, which he and his agent have already shown signs of doing.

While I love Dalvin Cook and the potential he brings to the field, the money he originally asked for was ridiculous. He’s also worth more than what the Vikings are valuing him at, with that Melvin Gordon-type offer. The two will likely find a balance in the $10-13 million range, for 3-4 years.

Something like that would keep the Vikings very strong in the backfield for years to come and Cook would land in the top-paid running back tier. Hell, Cook isn’t even in the top-three rated backs in Madden 21! And they ALWAYS know what they’re doing.

I think this is the best option for Cook and the Vikings, moving forward. Both parties understand the team is in “win-now” mode and are vying for their first Super Bowl. Dalvin should cash in on what’s available now.

If anything has been learned today, it is that never underestimate the power of negotiations and how closely players keep an eye on those who are getting paid around the league. With Henry’s reasonable signing, things are looking great for the Vikings and I wouldn’t be surprised if negotiations move fast with Dalvin Cook, now.

Jack Kewitsch | Minnesota Sports Fan

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