Things make much more sense now! Straight out the gate of the 2019 NFL season, the Minnesota Vikings made it clear that running back Dalvin Cook was going to be the focus of the offense. The Vikes finished fourth in the league in rushing attempts per game, led by Cook's 1,135 yards. Now, with Cook suddenly pressuring the Vikings with a holdout, the partnership is in jeopardy.
Earlier this week, news broke that Cook would not be attending training camp or playing the season if his demands were not met. It was previously believed that the reason was because Cook wants more than $16 million per season in his next contract, but according to the latest, he reportedly felt disrespected by what the team offered.
According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Minnesota offered Cook a deal worth fewer than $10 million per year. Yeah, that's probably not going to cut it.
The price for running backs has become steep following Christian McCaffrey's four year, $64 million contract extension with the Carolina Panthers this offseason. Cook may not be on the same level as McCaffrey, but the bar has been raised and there's no doubt he's among the best in the game.
The Vikings are now in a very tough position for a few reasons. One, Cook is under a paltry four-year, $6.4 million contract, so he's naturally unhappy with being paid so little at the moment. Secondly, after proving his worth in his first full season that wasn't hampered by injuries, the team would probably like to see that for another year if they're going to invest a lot of money in him, but now there's urgency to get a new deal done to ease the tensions.
Whatever the case, they can't afford to be without the former Florida State star in 2020 if they hope to win the NFC North.