The runaway leaders in terms of mentions as a Dalvin Cook suitor this offseason, the Dolphins may soon have their opportunity to add the Pro Bowler in free agency. The Vikings are planning to release Cook on Friday, barring an 11th-hour trade agreement.
If Cook reaches free agency, Miami should probably be considered the favorite. After a report last week indicated the Dolphins will be expected to pursue Cook if he ends up in free agency, ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler notes (via Twitter) the South Florida native is believed to be “very much intrigued” by playing for his hometown team.
Cook, who will turn 28 later this summer, posted an image of him leaving Hard Rock Stadium (during a 2022 Vikings-Dolphins game) on Instagram today. No team has appeared willing to take on Cook’s $10.4MM salary, but seeing as the Florida State alum appears to be quite interested in a Dolphins deal, the Vikings seeing if any of the other suitors come forward with a last-ditch trade proposal seems like something to monitor.
The Dolphins discussed Cook with the Vikings in March, were still believed to be in the mix before the draft and, despite selecting Devon Achane in Round 3, remain on the radar. Miami gave modest guarantees to re-signed backs Jeff Wilson and Raheem Mostert, both of whom having pasts with Mike McDaniel in San Francisco, and re-signed Myles Gaskin. The Gaskin deal does not include any guarantees. But Mostert, Wilson and Achane still represent a fairly full running back room. Cook, the league’s only back to rush for at least 1,100 yards in each of the past four seasons, would likely bolster that situation further.
Even if the Dolphins do make Cook an offer, the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson does not see it being something close to the deal the Vikings are about to remove from their payroll (Twitter link). That said, Jackson confirms the Dolphins remain interested. While a few suitors would naturally be better for the four-time Pro Bowler’s market, he probably should not count on anything on the level of the $12.6MM-per-year deal he inked with Minnesota just before the 2020 season. Three years remain on that contract.
The Broncos are believed to have monitored Cook for a bit now, though they have Samaje Perine in place as a Javonte Williams committee partner. Williams has also made strides in his return from ACL and LCL tears this offseason. Denver also just authorized a $5.5MM guarantee for Frank Clark, cutting into its cap space.