The Minnesota Vikings have informed Dalvin Cook that he is being released, per reports on Thursday. Cook is turning 28 in August, so he still has a couple of more years before turning 30, and he has rushed for at least 1,100 yards in each of the last four seasons, making the Pro Bowl each time. Will the Los Angeles Rams, a team that is low on cap space but also on known talent, show interest in the four-time Pro Bowl running back?
One ESPN writer who thought so is Mike Clay.
Here we go!— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) June 8, 2023
Cook is unlikely to see a boost in value wherever he lands, but there are some interesting spots including Bucs, Dolphins, Broncos...and perhaps Rams?
Alex Mattison is the big winner here and launches to the RB2 mix with RB1 upside. https://t.co/Hm1G0uaOab
The Rams recently drafted Zach Evans to add to a group with Cam Akers, Kyren Williams, and Ronnie Rivers. Akers played college football at Florida State immediately after Cook was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings after his own running back career with the Seminoles. Cook had two top-10 finishes in the Heisman.
Akers has drawn comparisons to Cook primarily for that reason, but hasn’t had the same success in the NFL as Cook. In 2020, Dalvin Cook rushed for a career-best 1,557 yards and 16 touchdowns, also catching 44 passes for 361 yards. Last season, Cook played in all 17 games, his first with former Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell, and had 1,173 yards with eight touchdowns, plus 295 receiving yards.
However, Cook fumbled four times, an ongoing issue in his career, just like Cam.
Akers had a career-best 786 yards and seven touchdowns last season but was also put on the trade block midseason and will be a free agent in 2024. Indeed the biggest roadblock to signing Dalvin Cook is cap space (the Rams have about...none of it) and where they are at right now in their development curve at a franchise.
Is now the best time to add a 28-year-old running back who will cost more than the vet minimum? Probably not.
But if the Rams are worried about Cam Akers health for any reason or an issue pops up, and Cook is still available and not able to command a large contract anywhere, perhaps L.A. would want to add a veteran who could add a spark to the team in some way. That doesn’t seem very likely.