When healthy—Dalvin Cook has been one of the best running backs in the league. He first broke into the league in 2017, as a high second-round pick, 41st overall, out of Florida State and to this point he has played his entire NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings.
In 2023, however, that will all change. Cook is officially a free agent for the first time in his career. Though the market for running backs isn’t what it used to be, the explosive running back will certainly have a number of suitors seeking his services.
Let’s take at the 7 NFL teams that could look to acquire Cook this offseason.
Cook didn’t just play his college ball in the Sunshine State, he was also born and raised in South Florida and the proposition of returning home has always been an enticing option for him. In fact, he even spoke publicly last year about how excited he was to even play a road game in Miami.
It would also be a treat to see Cook slot into Mike McDaniel’s offense, especially heading into year 2 with him calling the shots.
However, don’t expect Cook to give a hometown discount. He’s already declined Miami’s initial offer in hopes of more cash.
While Denver might not seem like the most attractive destination after the calamity that was its 2022 season—ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported two separate times since Cook’s release from the Broncos that the 28-year-old running back was at the Broncos’ negotiating table.
Denver’s now led by George Paton, who was in the front office in Minnesota when they drafted Cook, so there is a pre-existing relationship. Additionally, now that Denver has brought in Sean Payton to revitalize the offense, there is a new optimism in the Mile High City that could lure Cook in.
The Cardinals don’t project to be a serious contender in 2023, but if it is all about the dollars and cents for Dalvin Cook, which, coming off his rookie deal as a second-rounder it very well may be, then the desert could be his best bet.
Arizona will need some way to keep its fans engaged while Kyler Murray’s out and the team looks to rebuild. It could be a low-pressure win for both sides in 2023 if they link up—then, hopefully, Cook and pair up with Murray the following season and put the Cards back into contention.
Running the football has been the Bills Achille’s heel over the past few seasons, which is surprising considering they have a quarterback as dynamic as Josh Allen under center. This was at least in part a schematic issue, but let’s face it, they haven’t had the best personnel the backfield either—making acquiring Cook an extremely tempting proposition for Buffalo.
Joining Buffalo might require a bit of a discount, but if Cook is serious about his desire to join a team with a real chance at winning a Super Bowl—this could be his best bet.
New England Patriots
Dalvin Cook has made it clear that he doesn’t mind taking fewer reps throughout the season if he’s doing so for a winning organization, one he can help push over the top toward winning a Super Bowl.
Joining New England may have lost its luster a bit post-Tom Brady, but Bill Belichick is still the GOAT in his own right and Cook could pair very nicely with Rhamondre Stevenson in the Patriots backfield.
After a promising 2022 campaign, Chicago has been rumored to be big spenders this offseason and Dalvin Cook could be the perfect gamble for them to take.
The Bears have already done a good job adding some talent out wide for Justin Fields to throw to—now, imagine adding Dalvin Cook to that mix. If Chicago can lock him down, the Bears might surprise a lot of people and find themselves right in the postseason mix this year.
New York Jets
With the acquisition of Aaron Rodgers, nearly every big-name free agent has at a minimum been linked to conversations with the Jets.
Joining New York is a long shot for financial reasons, but Cook is clearly intrigued by the idea of playing with Rodgers—and the Jets should do everything in their power to add him to what’s an already talented running back stable, currently led by Breece Hall.
WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.