North Notes: Vikings, Conner, JuJu, Lions

The 2017 draft class will become extension-eligible in January, and Dalvin Cook‘s contract figures to be one the key talking points once the calendar flips to the 2020 offseason. The Vikings are one of the few teams to have paid a running back top-market money, via Adrian Peterson‘s $14.4MM-AAV pact from 2011. With Cook’s contract not containing a fifth-year option like Christian McCaffrey‘s does, the Vikings will likely have to address his deal sooner than the Panthers will need to negotiate with their All-Pro candidate. Ezekiel Elliott‘s $15MM-per-year deal represents the new running back benchmark. Although Cook has been injury-prone, he will surely seek a contract in the Elliott-Todd GurleyLe’Veon BellDavid Johnson tax bracket (north of $13MM annually).

Running backs are valuable,” Cook said, via’s Courtney Cronin. “For guys to get rewarded for how physical, how much they get their bodies ready each and every week to go take that pounding, guys [are] getting rewarded for that. The running back value kind of went down, but I think we’re just as valuable as any position.”

Here is the latest from the North divisions:

  • Adam Thielen will not play Sunday night. The Vikings ruled out their highest-paid wide receiver for Week 10’s Cowboys contest. Thielen has dealt with this hamstring injury since Week 7, missing Minnesota’s game against the Redskins and exiting last week’s Chiefs game after seven snaps.
  • One of Cook’s 2017 draft classmates, James Conner, will also need at least another week to recover from injury. The Steelers ruled out Conner for Week 10. They also added JuJu Smith-Schuster to this week’s injury report Friday. Pittsburgh’s top wideout is questionable to face the Rams with a toe injury.
  • Lions safety Miles Killebrew suffered a concussion during Thursday’s practice, Kyle Meinke of notes. The Lions moved Killebrew to linebacker last year, but the trade of Quandre Diggs and Tracy Walker‘s knee injury prompted the team to shift Killebrew back to safety recently. UFA addition Tavon Wilson, third-round rookie Will Harris and rookie UDFA C.J. Moore are the Lions’ only healthy safeties. Killebrew and Walker are out for Sunday’s Bears tilt
  • The Lions’ two-year extension for Christian Jones features a short-term sacrifice for a 2020 payment. The deal reduces the linebacker’s 2019 salary from $2.45MM to the veteran minimum, which will be worth approximately $426K for the season’s remainder. In exchange, Jones will receive a $1.97MM signing bonus, Michael Rothstein of tweets. The through-2021 deal averages $2.92MM. Detroit tacked on a voidable 2022 year, in order to spread the bonus across three seasons instead of two.
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8 comments on “North Notes: Vikings, Conner, JuJu, Lions

    • diller1340

      Dude is a beast but you know as soon as he gets paid he will just get hurt again

      • monymgr

        I don’t know that when he gets paid that he will JUST get hurt !! Not sure why or how you would say that or feel that way ???

        • diller1340

          Look at his injury history going back to college there is no reason to think he will remain healthy going forward. And then once you sign him to a big contract you are stuck with him inevitably getting hurt and missing games

        • JD396

          They pay players in gold bullion and he’s going to pull something in his back trying to carry it out to his truck.

      • kevin

        he’s good and MOST his injuries have come from the nfl. I think he will get paid and he’s a better bet then the jags . the jags RB is truly injury prone he was in college and is in nfl so that is really the one to watch . but cook Will get paid and I think cook probably should take more time to recover from injuries maybe it will help I don’t know lol but hes good so unless he get a season ending injury he should get a lot of money

  1. sigdawg25

    James Conner is a great person with a great story, but I think he is just too damn fragile to be a reliable #1 back. Starting to look like the Steelers made a mistake by letting LVB walk. JMO

    • deal1122

      Not a mistake at all letting bell walk… he’s having a great time in NY ;)

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