Christian McCaffrey recently became the NFL's highest-paid running back in history, receiving $16 million a year. While running backs rarely receive such lucrative deals, it seemed worth it for a young player who is clearly one of the best backs in the league given his elite ability to receive as well.
That offer, however, has Dalvin Cook saying if McCaffrey can make $16 million, why can't I? Cook's latest contract demands are reportedly north of even McCaffrey's massive contract.
Minnesota's original offer of $10 million seemed like a fair deal, Cook's $13 million expectation a reasonable demand, but now at least $16 million? Cook is a talented back, but he simply is not worth that price, especially after only one good season to his name.
Cook is coming off a 1,000-yard campaign, but McCaffrey has now done that two years in a row in addition to becoming the first running back to record 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season. He blows Cook out of the water with his receiving numbers and total touchdowns. It's not even close.
Beyond statistical advantages, health is the separating factor here. McCaffrey has started in 32 straight games whereas Cook is yet to play a complete campaign with a history of injuries behind him.
Ultimately, Cook already had a difficult road ahead of him in securing a long-term extension. If a number north of $16 million is his bottom dollar, then that road just became impossible.