One of the biggest remaining uncertainties facing the Vikings this offseason is the contract status of star running back Dalvin Cook. As Cook enters the final year of his rookie deal, the two sides seem poised to work out an extension and negotiations are ongoing.
According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the Vikings and Cook's representation have had "productive talks" about a contract extension, but "nothing is close at this time."
Cook had his healthiest, most productive season in 2019, showing off his elite talent and versatility and establishing himself as one of the best running backs in the NFL. He was averaging a remarkable 141.5 yards from scrimmage per game through the season's first ten weeks before dealing with a couple nagging injuries down the stretch.
Everything GM Rick Spielman has said this offseason would suggest that the Vikings are fully prepared to sign Cook to a new deal to keep him in Minnesota for years to come.
"I put Dalvin in the same class as I have all of our other young guys...we've always tried to keep our core young talent that we draft and develop," Spielman said at the combine in February. "I consider Dalvin as one of those core group of players that we definitely want to try to keep."
Ultimately, it will come to down to the money. Cook has made less than $5 million in his three years in the league and could command as much as $15-16 million annually on a new deal. Panthers star Christian McCaffrey was the first running back from the class of 2017 to sign an extension this offseason, getting $16 million per year over four years.
The Vikings might be hesitant to give Cook that much given his injury history and lack of McCaffrey-level production as a receiver. The negotiations should be fascinating and may not reach a conclusion for some time.
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