NFL rumors: Vikings welcome the inevitable with Dalvin Cook decision

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The Minnesota Vikings have finally made a long-anticipated decision on Dalvin Cook’s future with the team.

After several weeks of waiting for this news, the Minnesota Vikings have finally made it official, parting ways with running back Dalvin Cook.

When this move is looked back on, out of context it will be confusing. Cook just made his fourth-straight Pro Bowl and 1,000-plus yard season. But Cook had a cap hit of over $14 million coming for the Vikings in 2023, and though his overall numbers are gaudy, the minutiae of them weren’t as good in 2022.

Tom Pelissero was first to the news:

Why are Vikings releasing Dalvin Cook?

There’s a debate to be had over whether or not Cook’s skillset was properly used in 2022, but the Vikings clearly either saw no way forward with their cap situation or didn’t like the cost-benefit ratio of rostering Cook. Or, perhaps both reasons led to the split.

Cook’s yards per attempt were down in 2022 and he had a slightly lower yards after contact per attempt in 2022 than 2023. He had nine 20+ rushing attempts in 2021 and just five in 2022.

Running backs in general are a complicated position to roster. This offseason we saw Ezekiel Elliott lose his job as well. While Elliott’s decline has been precipitous and far more palpable than Cook’s, the truth is that the position can decay rapidly from overuse, and if teams don’t get out of large contracts in time with running backs, it can quickly become a money pit that prevents teams from building true contenders.

Vikings RB depth chart after releasing Dalvin Cook

With Cook gone, here’s how the backfield shapes up going into training camp:

  1. Alexander Mattison
  2. Ty Chandler
  3. DeWayne McBride
  4. Kene Nwangwu

Vikings cap space after releasing Dalvin Cook

The Vikings, according to Adam Schefter, still owe Cook $2 million this year. Ultimately, though, they save $9 million in cap space.

Now, the Vikings have about $18.75 million in cap space to work with.

Dalvin Cook career earnings, net worth

Dalvin Cook has earned $32,217,150 so far, per Spotrac. He’ll have another $2 million tacked on from the Vikings this season and will earn more depending on where he signs next.

Celebrity Net Worth estimates Cook’s net worth to be $20 million. 

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