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Vikings want to “do right” by Dalvin Cook

But they might not have the ability to do so

New York Giants v Minnesota Vikings Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

With the trade of Za’Darius Smith officially taken care of, the Minnesota Vikings now appear to be turning their attention to the other player that has been the subject of trade rumors this offseason. That would be running back Dalvin Cook, who is set to have a $14 million cap hit this coming season while the Vikings appear to have been setting up for a future that doesn’t include him.

The Vikings are, still, attempting to trade Cook, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. However, that hasn’t been the easiest task, as Fowler said on SportsCenter the other day (courtesy of Bleacher Report’s Scott Polacek):

“Dalvin Cook’s future has been sort of open-ended recently. I was told from a source that the Vikings want to do right by Dalvin Cook. Right now, they’re willing to hold on to his cap hit of around $14 million until they figure this all out.

“They want him to go to a place where he can play and be happy, whether that’s via trade, or eventual release, or even staying in Minnesota. But that’s sort of the thing they’ve been sorting through.”

Unfortunately for the Vikings, the best time to trade Cook has already come and gone. Had the team been able to get something worked out before the Draft, or even on Draft weekend, they likely could have gotten some sort of return for Cook’s services. However, now that the Draft has passed, a lot of teams are pretty happy with what they’ve got at the running back position and aren’t prepared to trade for a player that’s making a premium salary at what is, to be honest, no longer considered a premium position in today’s National Football League.

That means that the team is likely going to end up releasing Cook while getting nothing in return. If they wait until after 1 June, they’ll gain some additional salary cap saving for this season, spreading Cook’s dead cap hit over this year and next year, which they could use for other things. But all of the Vikings’ moves this offseason, such as re-signing Alexander Mattison, making contract offers to David Montgomery, and drafting DeWayne McBride a couple of weeks ago, seem to signal that the Dalvin Cook era in Minnesota is pretty much over.

So, while the Vikings are going to try to “do right” by Dalvin Cook, the fans in Minnesota likely aren’t going to care much for how they end up doing that. At this point, I would be stunned if they managed to get anything in a trade for him, so right around 1 June we’ll probably be doing a “Vikings release Dalvin Cook” story somewhere in this space.