Former NFL QB says Dalvin Cook has leverage over Vikings

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook /

Chris Simms believes Dalvin Cook has leverage in negotiations with the Minnesota Vikings.

We’ve reached a point in the contract negotiations between the Minnesota Vikings and Dalvin Cook where the running back is reportedly prepared to hold out in order to get a deal that pays him a figure that he believes he is worth.

It seemed like this stage in the talks could have been avoided, but this is where it is now and the Vikings must figure out what they want to do.

Will Minnesota give in and pay Cook an amount that is comparable to some of the highest-paid running backs in the NFL? Or will they say no thanks and turn to one of their backups to take over the job as their No. 1 back for 2020?

Dalvin Cook has a bunch of leverage in contract talks with the Minnesota Vikings according to Chris Simms.

Since the reports about Cook potentially holding out for a new deal began to circulate on Monday, many have been trying to figure out which party has the most leverage. Well, current NBC Sports analyst and former NFL quarterback Chris Simms believes it is the young running back who has the leverage in this specific contract negotiation.

"“If you’re the focal point of the offense and you play running back in the NFL and everything that’s going on in the offense is really going through you, why would you continue to play for peanuts?Dalvin Cook is a guy who’s not real big, extremely explosive, but also extremely aggressive and physical for the size at which he is. $1.3 million just ain’t going to get it done for a guy on the Minnesota Vikings, as we know, is a playoff football team, offense is predicated on the run game (with) Gary Kubiak. So he’s got a lot of leverage here. I know they’ve got (Alexander Mattison) behind him, he’s a good running back, all of that. But Dalvin Cook without a doubt is the MVP of that offense and one of the best running backs in football.”"

The Vikings have really backed themselves into a corner with this situation. If they didn’t have any desire to give Cook a significant pay increase this year, then they probably shouldn’t have centered their offense around him or traded away Stefon Diggs.

With these decisions, Cook can walk away and it would leave Minnesota scrambling to figure out a new way to run their offense. The Vikings need their top running back more than he needs them.

Yes, the new NFL CBA really prevents Cook from holding out of training camp if he doesn’t want to become a restricted free agent in 2021. However, he can still choose to sit out games in the regular season and that will have a much bigger impact on a team like the Vikings that has aspirations to get in the playoffs in 2020 and make some noise.

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Both sides want to get a deal done and at some point, one side is going to give in to the other. With Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman still only having one year left on their current contracts though, they’re really not in a position to take a massive risk that involves letting the MVP of their offense miss time next season.