Dolphins Inquired On Vikings’ Dalvin Cook

Mike McDaniel coached both Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson in San Francisco and Miami, and the second-year Dolphins HC opted to bring back both veterans to ensure continuity. The re-signings, however, came after the Dolphins discussed what would have been a splashier addition.

The Dolphins reached out to the Vikings on Dalvin Cook, according to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson. Uncertainty swirled about the Miami native’s Minnesota future earlier this month, and the Vikings re-signed longtime backup Alexander Mattison to a deal worth more than what the Dolphins gave their returning backs.

Mattison stayed in Minnesota on what turned out to be a nice contract, considering where this running back market went. The Vikes gave their four-year backup a two-year, $7MM accord that features $6.35MM fully guaranteed. In terms of full guarantees, only Miles Sanders, David Montgomery and Jamaal Williams topped Mattison this offseason. Mattison was previously rumored to not be in Minnesota’s post-2022 plans. His second Vikings contract invites more speculation about the team’s intentions with Cook.

At the Combine, Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah stopped short of guaranteeing Cook would be back for a seventh season. That put the Pro Bowl talent, who is tied to a $12.6MM-per-year contract, on ground similar to Joe Mixon; the Bengals are not yet certain to trot out Cook’s draft-class peer for a seventh season. Multiple teams believed the Vikings entertained the prospect of a Cook trade just before free agency. The Dolphins look to be one of them.

Miami brought back Wilson — a 2022 trade acquisition — on a two-year, $6MM deal that includes $2.6MM guaranteed and kept Mostert for two years and $5.8MM ($2.2MM guaranteed). This will be a more economical backfield path for the Dolphins, who also re-signed third-stringer Myles Gaskin, though Cook obviously offers a higher ceiling. The Dolphins have made big-ticket additions since McDaniel arrived, trading for Tyreek Hill, Bradley Chubb and Jalen Ramsey. A Cook move would have been in step with these acquisitions, but the contracts the Dolphins gave the standout talents have crowded their payroll a bit.

Cook, 27, has topped 1,100 rushing yards in each of the past four seasons; he exceeded 1,450 scrimmage yards in each of those slates as well. Only Derrick Henry‘s 6,914 scrimmage yards tops Cook’s total (6,423) since 2019. Cook has reached these heights despite nagging injuries — most notably a broken shoulder that led to surgery earlier this offseason — that kept him off the field for eight games from 2019-21. In 2022, however, Cook did not miss a game. He did average a career-low 4.4 yards per carry, on the second-most totes of his career (264), but was obviously instrumental in the Vikes’ runaway NFC North championship.

A Cook transaction before the draft will be worth monitoring, and a move once he recovers from his shoulder surgery later in the offseason will as well. However, Austin Ekeler — who requested a trade due to his below-market Chargers contract — is not believed to have generated too much interest. The Vikings have Cook on a $10.4MM base salary this season. The Dolphins will have Wilson and Mostert rostered at barely $2MM combined.

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