The Minnesota Vikings are planning to release running back Dalvin Cook, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Wednesday.
Cook, 28, is due to make $14.1 million in base salary in 2023, the final year of his five-year, $63 million contract. The Vikings would save $9 million in cap space by releasing him after June 1.
Cook is coming off a career year in 2022, rushing for 1,557 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was selected to his third Pro Bowl and was named to the All-Pro Second Team.
However, Cook has also been injury-prone throughout his career. He has missed 17 games in the past four seasons.
The Vikings have a crowded backfield, with Alexander Mattison and Kene Nwangwu both capable of starting. Releasing Cook would give the Vikings more cap space to address other needs, such as wide receiver and offensive line.
Cook is a talented running back, but his injury history and contract make him a risky investment. The Vikings are likely to move on from him in order to save money and get younger at the position.
Possible Landing Spots for Dalvin Cook
If the Vikings release Cook, he will likely be a hot commodity on the free agent market. Here are a few possible landing spots for the All-Pro running back:
- Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys are in need of a running back after Ezekiel Elliott's production declined in 2022. Cook would be a major upgrade for Dallas' offense.
- Chicago Bears: The Bears are also in need of a running back after David Montgomery struggled in 2022. Cook would give the Bears a dynamic running game.
- Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks are in the midst of a rebuild and could use a veteran presence like Cook. He would be a good fit for Seattle's offense.
- San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers have a strong running game, but they could use another running back to take some of the load off of Elijah Mitchell. Cook would be a good complement to Mitchell.
- Los Angeles Rams: The Rams are always looking for ways to improve their team, and Cook would be a major upgrade for their offense. He would give the Rams a running game that could help them win another Super Bowl.
Wherever Cook ends up, he is sure to be a productive running back. He is one of the best running backs in the NFL, and he is still in his prime.