Contract negotiations between the Minnesota Vikings and Dalvin Cook hit a snag on Monday when ESPN insider Adam Schefter reported that the star running back plans on holding out until he receives a "reasonable extension."
This is a highly risky move from Cook considering the conditions of the NFL's new collective bargaining agreement. If the 24-year-old stud sits out through training camp, he will earn no accrued season in 2020 and will become a restricted free agent next offseason.
Somebody on Cook's legal team should probably notify him of these new regulations. Becoming a restricted free agent next March would give the Vikings a fifth year of team control over him. That would prove disastrous to his hopes of receiving a lucrative extension while he's still in the prime of his career.
If this happens, the 2019 Pro Bowler wouldn't be eligible for a new contract until he was 26. That's not awful, but it's far from ideal, and who knows what happens on the injury front between now and then. Let's remember that Cook only appeared in 15 games in his first two seasons, and missed two games last year with a shoulder injury.
Under the old CBA, players were authorized to report to camp no less than 30 days before the first regular season game in order to account for an accrued season. These new terms give players keen on holding out next to no leverage, so Cook is taking a massive gamble here.