With holding out for more money becoming trendy among young rushers, will the Minnesota Vikings running back be next if he has a good season in 2019?
Talent has never been a concern for Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook. Compared to every other back who is currently in the NFL, there are few (if any) who possess more talent than Cook.
However, the Vikings’ young rusher hasn’t been able to showcase his skills as much as he would have liked during his first two seasons in the league. Thanks to multiple injuries, Cook has only appeared in 15 of a possible 32 games since he entered the NFL in 2017.
Despite his bad luck with injuries since he’s been in the league, many still expect the Minnesota running back to have a big season in 2019. If he can stay on the field for a good portion of the year, there is no reason to believe that Cook cannot put up some impressive numbers.
So let’s just say that he is able to appear in the majority of the Vikings’ games in 2019 and his final stats rank among the top running backs in the NFL. Could a productive campaign this year lead to Cook holding out in 2020 for a more lucrative contract?
His current deal is set to expire in 2021 and in 2020, he will be making under $2 million. Looking at the recent trend of young running backs holding out (Le’Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott, Melvin Gordon), it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Cook decided to stage a holdout during the 2020 offseason if he ends up coming off a productive year with Minnesota.
Currently, the Vikings have the leverage in anything related to a new contract with their top running back. However, the upcoming season is setting up in a way that could shift most of the leverage over to Cook.
This past offseason, Minnesota switched to an offensive scheme that will put more emphasis on establishing the run game and Cook is expected to lead the charge in the backfield.
If much of the Vikings’ offensive production centers around their top running back this year, the team may feel inclined to do whatever is necessary to keep him happy and keep him around well past when his current deal runs out in 2021.
Minnesota hasn’t had a player stage a holdout in a while, but the last guy to do it was a running back. Back in 2015, Adrian Peterson tried to hold out for more guaranteed money, but it wasn’t a situation that lasted very long. However, Peterson was able to restructure his contract with the Vikings before the start of the 2015 season.
During the last few years, Minnesota has done their best to reward their top players with new deals before the situation is able to turn into something negative. Seeing his teammates get extensions from the Vikings could be something that persuades Cook to not stage a holdout if he has a productive season this year.
Looking at Minnesota’s recent history of getting out in front of contract situations before they become ugly, bet on the team figuring out a new deal with Cook before he ever feels the need to even consider holding out in 2020.