NFL rumors: Dolphins may have fumbled massive lead in Dalvin Cook free agency

Dalvin Cook #4 of the Minnesota Vikings warms up against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on October 16, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
Dalvin Cook #4 of the Minnesota Vikings warms up against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on October 16, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /

Dalvin Cook seemed like a shoo-in to sign with the Miami Dolphins. But, the AFC East team may have cost themselves the chance of signing the Pro Bowl running back.

Even nearly four months since the start of the 2023 league year, there are still plenty of players available in free agency for NFL teams to add ahead of the season. When it comes to big names, running back Dalvin Cook fits the bill, who was released by the Minnesota Vikings back in early June.

Once Cook hit free agency, one team that was heavily linked to him was the Miami Dolphins, who had reported interest in signing him despite head coach Mike McDaniel not commenting on it and hyping up his current running back room. Not to mention that Cook grew up in Miami, so the link is there.

But did the Dolphins cost themselves a chance at signing the star running back?

During an appearance on ESPN’s NFL Live, reporter Jeff Darlington noted that the Dolphins remain interested and have an offer on the table, but Cook is “unwilling to accept” it.

"“I can see him trying to drum up a little leverage,” said Darlington. “He’s still interested in joining the Dolphins, but at this point, again, not willing to commit to the deal that they have on the table."

Dalvin Cook ‘unwilling to accept’ offer Dolphins currently have on table

Earlier on in the video above, Darlington mentioned that Cook is looking to get closer to training camp before making a decision. But, he does mention one date to keep an eye on — July 17. That is the deadline for running backs Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs to reach an agreement on a contract extension with the New York Giants and Las Vegas Raiders, respectively.

"“It has nothing to do with Dalvin Cook, but if Barkley and Jacobs perhaps could reset the market, perhaps it would give the Dolphins and Dalvin Cook or another team some idea of what his pay should be,” said Darlington. “So just one little threshold that maybe we should keep an eye on. If that doesn’t happen, Cook and the Dolphins would have to work out something on their own.”"

Barkley and Jacobs were each given the franchise tag worth $10.1 million for the 2023 season, but have yet to sign it. Both running backs and their respective teams have until 4:00 p.m. ET to agree to a contract extension. If not, they would play the 2023 season on the franchise tag.

Cook is coming off of a 2022 season in which he played every regular-season game for the Vikings. Cook ran for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns on 264 carries while catching 39-of-56 targets for 295 yards and two touchdowns.

The Dolphins have a pretty crowded running backs room heading into training camp as of this writing, with Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr., third-round draft pick De’Von Achane, Salvon Ahmed, Myles Gaskins, and Chris Brooks.

There may need to be an extra sense of urgency for the Dolphins, as their rivals like the New York Jets and New England Patriots have also been linked to Cook.

Cook could sign with a team just before the start of training camp. As for the current offer the Dolphins made to Cook, he is not interested in accepting it.

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