Recently, the Minnesota Vikings shocked the NFL world and released Davlin Cook. Cook made the Pro Bowl in the past four consecutive seasons and has been one of the most talented backs in the league. Despite this, he now finds himself trying to join a new team before the season begins.
Cook has made it clear that he is looking for a “significant contract” in free agency, looking for over $5 million per year. This is not a huge ask by any means, as players like Miles Sanders and James Connor both average over $6 million on their current deals. Despite this, some in NFL front offices believe that Cook will struggle to find a team willing to give him that much in free agency.
With Cook being one of the top-backs in the league, it is very difficult to believe that no one will be able to work out a deal with him before the season begins. There are three teams that would be perfect fits for him heading into the 2023 season.
The first team that could make a run for Dalvin Cook is the Denver Broncos. Last season, the Broncos’ offense began to turn stagnant after running back Javonte Williams suffered an ACL tear that would leave him sidelined for the majority of the season.
With the Broncos unsure if Williams will be the same player when he returns from his injury, Cook could be the perfect option to bring in for one year. This would provide the Broncos with one of the best backs the league has to offer.
Adding Cook to the team would take the pressure off of Russell Wilson’s shoulders to attempt to carry the offense through the air like he did last season, and it would allow Williams to not rush his recovery process to rejoin the team. This would be an incredible insurance policy for the Broncos and could potentially give them one of the strongest backfields in the league for the 2023 season.
Arguably the most intriguing option for Cook to join is the Miami Dolphins. Miami has emerged as one of the early frontrunners to add the four-time Pro Bowler to their team. If the Dolphins are able to pick up Cook, he would propel them to potentially having the most dangerous offense in the entire NFL.
Last season, the Dolphins torched defenses with their passing game. The lightning-fast duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylin Waddle gave secondaries nightmares trying to keep up with them last season. However, Miami did not have much of a rushing attack, and when Tua Tagovailoa was sidelined with injuries, it left the team with a very unreliable offense.
Adding Cook to the team would make their offense much more balanced and in turn even more difficult to stop. Pairing this with the additions that they made on the defensive side of the ball over the offseason, the Dolphins could potentially make a playoff run in an extremely competitive AFC East division if they can pick up Cook.
The final team that would make for an incredible landing spot for Cook is the Buffalo Bills. This move would work for a plethora of reasons and is the only team that Cook may be willing to take a pay cut for.
For this move to work, Cook would likely have to take much less than the $5 million or more that he is looking for, however, the Bills provide him with an incredible opportunity to come in as the team’s starting back and potentially making a Super Bowl run.
Last season, Josh Allen was forced to do most of the grunt work in the rushing game. He came less than 75 yards short of leading the team in rushing yards last season. With him being an MVP-caliber quarterback, he can not be putting his body on the line on such a consistent basis. As a result of this, bringing in Cook would be the perfect way to take some of the pressure of carrying the run game off of Allen’s shoulders.
Along with this, joining the Bills would allow Cook to join his younger brother James Cook. James worked his way up the depth chart in his rookie season, however, he still has a little bit to go before he is ready to take over as the starting back on a Super Bowl caliber team. Taking a year or two for Dalvin to mentor him could be the best thing for his career in the long term, and Cook also may take a pay cut to play alongside his brother.
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