Dalvin Cook’s agent refutes report he’s heading to training camp without a deal

Dalvin Cook still wants a new deal.

The Minnesota Vikings’ offense transformed into one of the league’s most efficient as soon as they started to lean on former second-round pick Dalvin Cook. With free agency on the horizon, Cook knows what he means to the Minnesota offense, and he is looking to leverage that as he tries to earn a shiny new contract.

Per Cook’s agent, the former Florida State star is still considering holding out in search of a new deal despite quotes from head coach Mike Zimmer that made it sound like Cook was a sure bet to report to camp. 

Dalvin Cook is eyeing big money after a breakout season in 2019.

Finally healthy and finally featured as the main component in the Minnesota offense, Cook exploded in 2019 under offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski. Despite playing in only 14 games, Cook managed over 1,500 yards from scrimmage while totaling 13 touchdowns. It’s no coincidence that Cook’s best season and Kirk Cousins’ first big road playoff win came in the same year.

While the Vikings have Cousins at quarterback and solid sophomore Alexander Mattison behind him, there is no getting around the fact that Cook is one of the most complete backs in the league, and replacing him will be quite the tall order.

Running backs like Le’Veon Bell have indeed dug their foot in and ended up on a different team the year after a contract dispute, so Rick Spielman would be foolish to consider calling Cook’s bluff and delaying a contract that most in the building know he’s going to be offered at some point.

Paying running backs is always a difficult proposition in this new age of wide-open passing games, but the fact that the Panthers and Titans scrounged up enough spare change to get deals for Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry finished has to be weighing on Cook.

The Vikings know the gulf in talent between him and Mattison, so they’ll likely buckle at some point and try to get a contract sorted out.