Will Cook’s contract situation get ugly?
On paper, Dalvin Cook is contractually obligated to report for the Vikings when training camp rolls around in August. However, running back contracts have changed dramatically over the past couple of years and after the recent Le’Veon Bell saga in Pittsburgh, no running back seems willing to play out the final year of their contract these days.
The exact scenario played out in Los Angeles last season when Melvin Gordon tried to get a raise from the Chargers. Neither side blinked in the early months and Gordon wound up missing the first four games of the season before reporting to the team in early October.
As of now, it’s tough to say if Cook’s situation would get as ugly as Gordon’s did and after seeing the Chargers running back struggle through the final 12 weeks of the 2019 season, Cook might determine it to be a lost cause seeing how much leverage Minnesota to not give him an extension this year.
With Alexander Mattison on the roster and the Vikings pressed up against the salary cap, the team simply might not be able to give Cook a contract this offseason and ask him to play out the final year of his deal. However, this could potentially result in Cook not coming back from injuries as quickly in 2020 or not willing to mix it up as he did a year ago.
In any event, a snag with Cook’s contract negotiation would play a key role not only with his quest for 2,000 total yards, but also his future in Minnesota.