Vikings Likely to Release Dalvin Cook to Dolphins, Not Trade Him

Photo: Matt Krohn - USA TODAY Sports

Slowly, but surely, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is checking offseason to-do items from his list. The latest being a Za’Darius Smith trade to Cleveland that created a bunch of cap space for the next two seasons, while simultaneously upgrading late round draft picks in 2024 and 2025. One shoe that hasn’t dropped yet, however, is Dalvin Cook’s.

What’s next for Dalvin Cook?

Cook will not be at voluntary team activities next week and it’s HIGHLY unlikely he plays another game in a Vikings uniform. But, as of Friday, he’s still on the roster. Previous reports expected Dalvin to be traded to the Miami Dolphins for a 5th round pick.

But on Friday’s 10 AM CT SportsCenter, Jeremy Fowler (ESPN) reported that Minnesota’s most likely move is to release their 4x pro-bowler once the calendar flips to June. And only one team is mentioned as a possible landing spot. You guessed it: Miami. Apparently, the Vikings “want to do right by Dalvin Cook” whether that means trade, release or restructure. Waiting until June 1 to cut Cook would net $3.1 million in additional 2023 cap relief ($9M) vs doing it before June 1 ($5.9M).

“So, his future is up in the air and the Vikings can receive $9 million against the cap if they release him after June 1. I’m told they want to do right by him, whether it’s a trade, release or bringing him back on a re-worked salary. But this is a guy they do value and they don’t want to cut bait without some sort of understanding between the player and team.

Now I’m told he is training in Miami right now. He is cleared, coming off that torn labrum surgery, to do some explosive work and some running around so he is doing that now. Teams I talked to do expect him to eventually be released, based on the way this has all shaked out. And this is guy who is from Miami so he could have some interest in playing for the Dolphins. Miami has been linked to [the Vikings] as potential trade option for Cook a few months ago so it could be a team to watch.”

Jeremy Fowler – SportsCenter – Friday 10 AM CT Hour (ESPN)

Let’s read between the lines, here. Cook isn’t taking a paycut in Minnesota. He’s said as much. Now, it seems the Vikings do have some interest in Cook, from other teams, but those suiters are limited. And any trade offers Kwesi might actually have in-hand do not excite him.

So unless a team ups the ante before June 1, the Vikings appear ready and willing to cut Dalvin Cook. A clean release would allow them to save as much cap space as possible, while also giving Dalvin an opportunity to sign with whichever team fits him best. That’s what Fowler means when he says the Vikings “want to do right by Dalvin Cook”.

Hopefully, Kwesi & Co do receive that surprise offer because losing Dalvin Cook for nothing but cap space relief would be the most disappointing ending possible for this long, drawn-out offseason saga surrounding Dalvin Cook.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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