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RB Dalvin Cook best options for the seasoned when the Vikings remove his social media banner

There have been many hints pointing toward Cook’s potential, including a story from ESPN highlighting that all indications point to a departure.

The Vikings’ most recent action appears to be to remove the back off their Twitter header and replace him with Alexander Mattison, another running back.

Coach Kevin O’Connell of the Vikings recently professed his admiration for Cook, who carried for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns last season, when questioned about his running back.

However, O’Connell made no guarantees that Cook will still be playing for the Vikings when they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first game of the regular season.

It seems likely that Cook and the Vikings would split up over money. Cook reportedly refused the team’s attempt to change his contract for the current season.

Cook has a $10.4 million base salary and a $14.1 million cap hit for the 2023 season.

Despite their desire to retain him, the Vikings seem willing to let Cook go in order to clear cap space and place a greater emphasis on fellow backs Alexander Mattison, Ty Chandler, and rookie DeWayne McBride.

The Vikings would probably sign a free agent to help replace him if they traded him. Among the notable running backs who are still up for grabs are Kareem Hunt and Ezekiel Elliott.

During Cook’s first two seasons in Minnesota, injuries prevented him from playing more than 15 games. The former second-round pick has since earned a unanimous Pro Bowl selection.

Since the beginning of the 2019 season, he has amassed 6,423 total yards and 46 touchdowns. Cook underwent surgery to heal the shoulder he broke in 2019 back in February.

Dane Cook

Although Cook’s options would likely be limited by his contract, many teams would still be interested in signing him to their roster. In light of this, here are five potential destinations for Cook should he decide to leave the Vikings.

First, Dallas Cowboys

Okay, given that they have already paid Tony Pollard $10 million for this season, this isn’t the best move.

In addition to selecting Pollard and experienced running backs Malik Davis and Ronald Jones in the sixth round of last month’s draft, the Cowboys also selected running back Deuce Vaughn.

After discussing reality, let’s travel to Jerry World. Jerry Jones is known for making bold moves, and acquiring Cook would undoubtedly be one of them. Putting aside the headlines, the decision is sound from a personnel perspective.

To play alongside Pollard, the Cowboys would undoubtedly gain from having a player of Cook’s caliber. Cook would also provide coverage in the case that Pollard decides to retire following the 2023 campaign.

Chicago Bears 2.

To begin with, the Bears have the cap room to sign Cook, who caused enough of problems for Chicago while playing for Minnesota. Cook would be a better option than the Bears’ current backfield, which consists of youngster Roschon Johnson, D’Onta Foreman, and Khalil Herbert.

Cook would seamlessly integrate into the Bears’ offensive scheme. He would get the opportunity to run behind a new offensive line that features rookie first-round choice Darnell Wright. Additionally, Cook would team up with quarterback Justin Fields, who is anticipated to have a breakout year.

Arizona Cardinals, third

Arizona has the budgetary room to buy Cook. Behind James Conner, who given his history of injuries would benefit from having a running back of Cook’s caliber to share a backfield with, they also have a need at running back.

The Cardinals’ offense would become one of the best in the NFL if Cook were to join the team. Paris Johnson Jr., one of the best lineman selected in the draft, was acquired by the Cardinals, like Chicago.

In addition to having a quality receiving group, anchored by Deandre Hopkins and Marquise Brown, Arizona also has a young quarterback with promise in Kyler Murray.

Fourth: Los Angeles Chargers

Austin Ekeler appears to be sticking in Los Angeles for the time being despite his request for a transfer. However, the Chargers would have more flexibility at the position after 2023 if Cook were added.

The versatile Ekeler, who may be utilized much more as a receiver with Cook in two, would benefit from Cook’s addition as well. Cook would give the Chargers’ backfield the much-needed depth it needs.

San Francisco 49ers, no. 5

For coach Kyle Shanahan, having Cook in the 49ers’ offense would be like playing Madden on the beginner’s level.

In addition to giving Shanahan an embarrassing amount of offensive wealth, Cook would also provide the needed running back depth given the injury histories of Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell.

Shanahan was there 25 years ago when Terrell Davis ran amok on his way to two championships with Kyle Shanahan’s father, Mike.

Cook used the same zone blocking strategy that Davis preferred when working with the younger Shanahan.


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