Dalvin Cook Reports to Training Camp, Still Seeking New Contract

Will Ragatz

Vikings running back Dalvin Cook officially reported to training camp with the rest of his veteran teammates on Tuesday, ending an odd controversy about whether or not he would do so. Cook is still hoping to receive a contract extension, which might be more realistic after the Vikings found themselves with some unexpected additional cap space.

Last Saturday, Mike Zimmer said on a Zoom call with local reporters that he had heard from Cook that he would be reporting to camp on time. However, later that day, Adam Schefter tweeted a quote from Cook's agent, Zac Hiller, which suggested otherwise. "Congrats to Coach Zimmer on his well-earned extension. However, Dalvin has not spoken to him in regards to reporting to camp. We are unsure why this was said."

A report came out that night that Cook had spoken to running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu and told him he would be reporting to camp, and that Polamalu relayed that message to Zimmer. But Hiller shot that down too, once again via Schefter:

“Dalvin and Coach Polamalu speak often as they have a great relationship," Hiller said. "Dalvin has never mentioned to him anything in regards to reporting to camp. I’m not sure where the miscommunication is."

After all that, Cook did end up reporting to camp on Tuesday for COVID-19 testing. And that wasn't a surprise, considering the new CBA basically prevents holdouts. If Cook had failed to show up, he would've been subject to daily fines and risked losing a year of service time. 

Cook and Zimmer have texted to clear up the air and are on good terms, according to Chad Graff of The Athletic.

Now, the focus turns back to Cook's ongoing contract negotiations with the Vikings. This is a big week on that front, considering the Vikings frequently sign players to extensions during the first week of training camp. "If there was going to be significant progress made, sources said it would likely come this week," Graff reported.

Derrick Henry's four-year, $50 million extension with the Titans provided a baseline for what a Cook deal could realistically look like. And the Vikings gained a bit of additional cap space for 2020 when nose tackle Michael Pierce opted out of the season due to being high-risk for the coronavirus. We'll see if the two sides can work something out this week.

It's unclear if there's a possibility of Cook reporting to camp but not participating.

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