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#pounditMonday, May 27, 2024

Vikings likely to move on from star player?

Kevin OConnell at a press conference

Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell speaks with the media.

Dalvin Cook’s future with the Minnesota Vikings became even more uncertain after the team re-signed Alexander Mattison earlier this month, but Cook remains on the roster. That may not be the case for long.

Cook underwent shoulder surgery last month to repair a lingering shoulder issue. That essentially forced the Vikings to keep him on their roster through March 17, when $2 million of Cook’s salary for 2023 became fully guaranteed. He is still owed a lot more money and scheduled to count more than $14 million against the salary cap, however.

ESPN’s Kevin Seifert wrote in a Friday column that it is “almost impossible” to believe Cook will remain on Minnesota’s roster under his current contract. The Vikings will likely trade or release Cook. They could also try to bring him back on a restructured deal that would include a significant pay cut. Since Cook is coming off his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season, he may not be open to a reduced salary.

The Vikings gave Mattison a two-year deal that fully guarantees him $6.35 million and could be worth up to $8 million. That is hardly top-tier starter money, but it is doubtful they would want to pay Mattison that much while also paying Cook what he is currently owed.

Cook, 27, rushed for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns last season while playing in all 17 games. He added 295 receiving yards and two scores through the air. He has averaged 4.7 yards per carry during his career and been one of the most explosive players in the league when healthy.

There are reportedly two teams that inquired about trading for him after the shoulder procedure, so perhaps the Vikings will be able to find a suitor.

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