Dalvin Cook: Potential Landing Spots, Vikings Running Game Without Cook

Dalvin Cook is coming off a fourth straight 1,000-yard season and has 52 career touchdowns. The Pro Bowl running back racked up 5,993 yards during his time with the Vikings. After his release becomes official, he will be a prime candidate for teams looking to add an explosive running back to their offense.

But where will he land?

Here are my favorite potential landing spots for Dalvin Cook.

Miami Dolphins

On Thursday, Miami was named as a team interested in Dalvin Cook by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel declined to comment on the rumor after Thursday’s practice. Still, Miami is seen as one of the suitors for Cook once his release becomes official.

Dalvin Cook is from Miami, the Dolphins have the cap space, and they’re a contender that would greatly benefit from a back like Dalvin Cook joining the backfield. It’s a no-brainer fit, really. Cook and speedster rookie Devon Achane in the Miami backfield with Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. sounds like an excellent fit.

Cook has even posted pictures of him in Miami on his social media since news broke regarding his impending release:

Cap Space (as of June 9): $13.3M

Denver Broncos

Like the Miami Dolphins, the Broncos were tabbed as one of the teams interested in Dalvin Cook by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Thursday.

With Javonte Williams working his way back from an ACL injury, the Broncos could use Cook’s services. Having Cook and Williams in the backfield will give Denver a dangerous one-two punch when Williams returns. New head coach Sean Payton has always had success with running backs specializing in a zone running scheme. Cook’s addition would give Denver the luxury of easing Williams back.

It would also provide them with an offense featuring Cook, Williams, Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, and rookie Marvin Mims Jr. That’s a long time for Russell Wilson to work with. Denver also has Samaje Perine and Tim Patrick in that offense, making it closer to the caliber of a unit that they have on the defensive side of the ball.

Cap Space (as of June 9): $10.85M

Dallas Cowboys

With Ezekiel Elliott departed, Dalvin Cook could provide the Cowboys another option while Tony Pollard works his way back from a broken leg and high ankle sprain. Pollard became Dallas’ feature back when they moved on from Zeke this offseason. However, he is playing on the franchise tag and recovering from the injuries from Dallas’ loss to the 49ers in the NFC playoffs.

Cap Space (as of June 9): $20.1M

Buffalo Bills

How cool would a Cook brother reunion be? Better yet, how cool would it be to see the Bills really round out their offensive weapons with the addition of Dalvin Cook? Pretty cool, in my opinion.

The Bills would have to do some work to clear cap to make it work. However, adding Dalvin Cook to the backfield with his brother James would boost the Bills’ chances at a Super Bowl this season. Also, blocking the Dolphins from landing Cook would solve two problems simultaneously.

Cap Space (as of June 9): $4.45M

Fantasy Football Impact of Dalvin Cook’s Release

With Dalvin Cook no longer in Minnesota, running back Alexander Mattison becomes a name to watch for during this year’s fantasy drafts. They say that opportunity is king, especially when it comes to the running back position these days.

Cook leaves behind 264 carries, eight touchdowns, and 17 carries inside the five-yard line in Minnesota. n addition to his 264 carries he was also targeted 56 times which he turned into another 39 receptions, 295 yards, and two touchdowns. Alexander Mattison will certainly soak up the brunt of that workload. Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell recently said that Mattison was working this spring to become the Vikings three-down back, a role O’Connell says Mattison has long been ready for.

But Mattison won’t be the only back in Minnesota who benefits from Cook’s departure. Second-year running back Ty Chandler will slot in behind Alex Mattison on the depth chart. O’Connell shared some insight on the progress that the 2022 fifth-rounder has made this spring:

“I thought instinctively, even when he didn’t truly know the offense from an ins-and-outs standpoint of what his responsibility was, I thought the last preseason you saw a ton of natural instincts as a runner show up, toughness, great finish. We’ve seen his impact in the pass game and kind of his overall football IQ show up from Day 1. That was a huge reason we kind of fell in love with him a year ago. He’s having a really good offseason, and I think he’s excited. That Year 1 to Year 2 jump at that position, just the feel of, not a lot of these guys get real tangible reps of feeling our NFL run-scheme concepts, how certain combinations are hit, so I think every rep for him matters, and it did last year. I thought he used truly a year where he had some different roles before the injury where he could be activated on teams, get a jersey on game day and ultimately make sure each and every week was a developmental process for him so he could be ready to go for this year.”

For more on the fantasy football impact of Dalvin Cook’s departure, check out Connor Allen’s story at our sister site 4for4:

written by

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.

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