Effects of a Dalvin Cook holdout
For starters, the Vikings whole offensive strategy for 2020 could be demolished. Minnesota has spent more than a year building an offense that gets the most out of Dalvin Cook and as talented as some of his backups are, the level of play in the team’s offensive backfield goes down without their top running back.
With the potential of no Cook for 2020, the Vikings would likely have to turn to Alexander Mattison to step in a take the majority of the reps as the team’s top back. Mattison showed flashes as a rookie in 2019, but no one can say with a straight face that Minnesota’s rushing attack would be just as successful with him on the field instead of Cook.
Neither Mike Boone or Ameer Abdullah are the answer either. So the Vikings might be forced to bring in a veteran free agent if Cook is still holding out by the time the regular season begins.
Some of the notable free-agent running backs who are still available include Devonta Freeman, LeSean McCoy, and Lamar Miller. It would be extremely interesting if Freeman was the guy who Minnesota ended up bringing in since he is the guy who Cook replaced at both Florida State and Miami Central High School.
It will definitely be a huge blow for the Vikings’ plans to contend in 2020 if Cook decides to hold out. Without him out on the field each week, earning a spot in the playoffs could be a real struggle for Minnesota next season.
Holding out could also have a negative effect on Cook as well. If he misses all of training camp and even a few games, his risk of injury could go up as he potentially won’t be in “game shape”.
Due to the new NFL CBA that was signed in March, will Cook have to deal with steep fines if he misses any part of training camp due to a holdout? While the Vikings could fine him, they won’t be mandatory since the new measures put in place only apply to players who are not on their first contract.
Looking at everything, the Vikings just have too much to risk to let Cook holdout this year. Hopefully, the two sides can work out a new deal sooner than later.