Report: Dalvin Cook begins holdout for new contract

The Vikings' running back reportedly will not show up for team-related activities without a new deal.
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Dalvin Cook

According to a report by ESPN's Adam Schefter, Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook will begin a holdout as he looks to obtain a "reasonable extension" from the team this offseason.

The report states that Cook will not attend team-related activities or training camp without a new contract and that the two sides have not talked in two weeks despite Cook's camp presenting a pair of "reasonable" proposals.

Cook is entering the final year of his rookie contract that will pay him $1.2 million this season. However, with the current landscape of the NFL, which focuses more assets on the quarterback position, it effectively puts Cook on the market.

Over the past couple of seasons, teams have shied away from paying the running back position. As Le'Veon Bell and Melvin Gordon have held out to no avail, other teams who bit the bullet have paid the price.

The Los Angeles Rams are one glaring example as they signed Todd Gurley to a four-year, $60 million extension prior to the 2018 season, but cut him just two years into the deal costing them $20.15 million in dead money.

The 2017 NFL Draft class has thrown another wrench into the system as several top running backs will be due for extensions heading into this year. The Carolina Panthers struck first in this regard, signing Christian McCaffrey to a four-year, $64 million extension last month.

Cook was a second-round pick in that year's draft and as the centerpiece of the offense, he feels like he should be paid like it. The issue is the Vikings may not have the money to do so.

The Vikings spent $66 million on a two-year extension for Kirk Cousins this offseason and have $11.7 million in salary-cap space according to Spotrac.

Although that number could be increased with a Cook extension, the Vikings also are working on a long-term deal with Anthony Harris and could be looking to add another free agent in the secondary or along the offensive line.

That situation could be causing frustration from Cook's camp as he came off a year where he set career-highs across the board but slumped in the second half due to shoulder and chest injuries.

A deadline of sorts for a deal to get done could be training camp as the league has not set a potential date for June minicamps as has been rumored. ESPN's Courtney Cronin also noted that several Vikings in contract disputes have agreed to a deal shortly before camp.

If the Vikings do not get a deal done, the latest Cook could hold out while still getting contractual credit for the 2020 season is Week 10. With the Vikings riding on Cook's talents (and the disaster that was Gordon's holdout last year), it's likely the two sides will eventually come to a solution.

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