Dolphins Rumors: Dalvin Cook to Miami? More Clarity Could Come Wednesday

    Chatter linking Dalvin Cook to the Miami Dolphins has only grown in recent days. Chris Grier could put a stop to it when he meets with reporters Wednesday.

    Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier will take questions with local reporters Wednesday in the team’s pre-draft news conference. But the most pointed questions he faces might be about the 41st pick in the 2017 NFL Draft: Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook.

    Miami Dolphins Rumors: Is Dalvin Cook a Real Possibility?

    The framing of the questions regarding Cook will be important because there’s little about Cook that NFL rules allow Grier to say.

    Why? Less than a year ago, the NFL stripped the Dolphins of their first-round pick in the 2023 draft due to tampering. Grier will surely watch his words to avoid more trouble.

    Cook remains a member of the Minnesota Vikings and is under contract through 2025. He is owed $10.4 million in base salary and could earn another $600,000 by hitting his incentives. (However, only $2 million of that base is guaranteed, making it possible for the Vikings to cut him, if they choose.)

    Part of his incentive package is a workout bonus. He doesn’t seem too concerned about collecting that, however, as he did not report for the start of Minnesota’s voluntary program Monday. Instead, he remained in his native Florida, rehabbing his surgically repaired shoulder.

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    “People are starting to realize that Dalvin averages 107 yards per game,” his agent Zac Hiller said on the Caps Off podcast recently. “He has Hall of Fame numbers, but he’s been in Minnesota, and they’ve been mediocre. He actually has incredible statistics. But he’s also been playing with one shoulder. He’s been purposely, and this is part of the business, but he’s been purposely turning certain ways and thinking about that he’s about to get hit.

    “The most interesting thing I’d say with Dalvin right now is that I’m excited to see him fully intact.”

    We might never see Cook fully intact for the Vikings again. If Minnesota cuts him with a post-June 1 designation, they would save $9 million against the 2023 cap.

    Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah didn’t exactly tamp down the speculation that Cook might soon be gone. When asked about Cook and edge rusher Za’Darius Smith — another potential cap casualty — last week, Adofo-Mensah said, “Conversations are ongoing, and we try to be solutions-oriented,” per Fox 9 reporter Jeff Wald.

    The Vikings are wise to deliberatively weigh the pros and cons of moving on from Cook, who rushed for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns on “one shoulder” in 2023.

    Trading him seems like a non-starter unless Cook agrees to a significant pay cut. Few teams have the budget or the appetite at this point in the cycle to take on $10.4 million — especially for a soon-to-be 28-year-old running back who has missed 25 games since entering the league in 2017.

    But if he hits the open market, expect a long list of suitors (assuming the price is right). And the Dolphins will be on that list.

    How Dalvin Cook Could Land With Miami Dolphins

    The Dolphins, on paper, aren’t an obvious landing spot. They have just $3.7 million in salary cap space (although that figure doesn’t include the $13.6 million that will open up when Byron Jones’ contract comes off their books in June).

    But beyond finances, they’ve already addressed the position in a significant way this offseason. The Dolphins have brought back basically their entire running back room from 2022, re-signing Jeff Wilson, Raheem Mostert, Salvon Ahmed, and Myles Gaskin — at a big-time discount. The four backs have a combined salary cap charge of $6.8 million.

    Adding Cook might double that sum. He’s probably not going to get $10 million on the open market, but he’s also not going to get $2 million.

    The Miami Herald reports that the Dolphins and Cook — a Miami native — have mutual interest. They talked about a trade early in the offseason but couldn’t agree on compensation.

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    Now with their budget largely set, a trade seems less likely than a signing — if Cook is cut. But he would likely have to give the Dolphins a hometown discount for it to happen — unless the Dolphins decide to cut one or more of the players they just signed (cutting both Ahmed and Gaskin would clear up $2 million in space).

    In other words, a Dolphins-Cook union in 2023 isn’t impossible. But at this point, it doesn’t seem super likely. As for Grier, if nothing else, he can answer two straight-forward questions Wednesday:

    1. Are you satisfied with the veterans in your running back room, or are you still looking to add more?

    And 2. Have you or anyone on your staff discussed a possible Dalvin Cook trade with the Vikings in recent weeks?

    His responses could be telling.

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    Adam Beasley is Pro Football Network’s Director of Original Content and Brand Development. You can read all of Adam’s work here and follow him on Twitter: @AdamHBeasley.

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