Dalvin Cook is reportedly prepared to hold out from any team activities, including training camp, absent a new long-term deal from the Minnesota Vikings, but the narrative emerging is that the Pro Bowl running back is unlikely to make good on his threat.
Arif Hasan of The Athletic recently laid out why Cook won’t commit to a lengthy holdout to secure a lucrative new contract ahead of the 2020 season. When asked on a scale of one to 10 the likelihood of a Cook holdout, Hasan rated it a “three.”
“I don’t think it’s very likely,” Hasan said during an appearance on CBS Sports’ “Pick Six NFL Podcast” on Thursday. “The Vikings haven’t had to deal with very many holdouts in their history, and Dalvin doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would.”
Numerous factors are believed to be in play when it comes to the unlikelihood of a Cook holdout. First, Hasan suggests the uncertainty surrounding the NFL salary cap amid the coronavirus pandemic and the new CBA will play a role.
Concerning the latter component, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates that a player who fails to show up for the first day of training camp will not receive an accrued season (per Article 8, Section 1 (b)). In Cook’s case, that would mean he’d only be a restricted free agent in 2021.
All that being said, the Vikings initial offer believed to be in the $10 million range was reportedly deemed “disrespectful” by Cook. The Vikings running back is said to want a “reasonable extension” offer in the range of $13 million per season.
Cook’s injury history — which includes missing 19 games in three seasons — presumably gives Vikings understandable pause about committing big money to the running back. That said, the Vikings’ offense is set up to run through Cook, and with the departure of Stefon Diggs, his contributions in both the running and passing game becomes even more critical.
Given all the factors in play, the Vikings are widely believed to have all the leverage on future contract discussions. Even though some acrimony evidently exists between the involved parties, Hasan stated during his interview that he’s “confident the Vikings will get a deal done.”