Why Did the Vikings Release Dalvin Cook?

    The Minnesota Vikings made a gutsy decision before the 2023 season involving Dalvin Cook. Why was the four-time Pro Bowl running back released?

    The Minnesota Vikings are now turning to Cam Akers to ignite their struggling rushing attack, trading for the Los Angeles Rams RB on Wednesday. Of course, there would’ve never been a need for Akers if Dalvin Cook was still in the backfield.

    Why the Minnesota Vikings Released RB Dalvin Cook

    For a team that won the NFC North title and relied on Cook’s 1,173 yards to get there, many considered the decision to part ways with him perplexing.

    After all, Cook became a perennial 1,000-yard rusher for the Vikes and looked like a fit in head coach Kevin O’Connell’s zone scheme. However, the Vikings were looking for a trade suitor before their final roster decision.

    The issue Minnesota faced involved Cook’s contract. He was set to take up $14.1 million in cap space and earn an additional $11 million if he spent this upcoming season in Minnesota. Ultimately, Cook’s deal became overpriced for a team facing cap issues.

    After being unable to find a trade partner, the Vikings made the decision to release him. In the process, Minnesota saved up to $9 million in cap space since Cook was a post-June 1 release. They also took on $5.1 million in dead money.

    And with the decision to release Cook, he became free to sign with whichever team he wished.

    How Has Cook Fared Since?

    Cook ended up adding some more star power to the New York Jets after they orchestrated the huge trade for Aaron Rodgers.

    Has Cook had an impact on the Jets?

    Unfortunately, Cook hasn’t been able to recapture the 1,000-yard form he displayed in Minnesota. In his Jets debut, he was held to 33 yards on 13 carries vs. the Buffalo Bills. Then against the Dallas Cowboys, he was bottled up to four carries for just seven yards.

    MORE: Why Did the 49ers Trade Trey Lance?

    Members of the New York media are already turning their back on Cook. There’s no report of him battling an injury either during his slow start.

    Will he have a chance to redeem himself on Sunday? Cook will soon face a New England Patriots run defense that allowed 145 rushing yards last week to the Miami Dolphins, including 121 to 31-year-old Raheem Mostert. But this Week 3 contest gives Cook a great chance to prove he was worth bringing in.

    Related Articles