It should come as no surprise if the Minnesota Vikings choose to return Dalvin Cook to another team before the 2022 trade deadline.
For the past few seasons, Minnesota Vikings who drove back Dalvin Cook have been the center of the team’s attack. During the Mike Zimmer era, if Cook himself had a good game, it usually resulted in a win for the Vikings.
After the first two weeks of the 2022 season, it looks like Cook’s value for Minnesota isn’t quite as high as it was a year ago.
The declining Vikings finished with 108 yards on 23 touches in Week 1, but his numbers were a bit of an afterthought compared to the monster performance that Minnesota wide receiver Justin Jefferson had in the same game. Then, in Week 2, Cook racked up just 36 yards in 10 touches, equaling the fewest times he had football in his hands since Week 4 of the 2018 season.
There could be a scenario where the Minnesota Vikings trade Dalvin Cook this year
After the Vikings lost week 2 to the Philadelphia Eagles, where Cook only touched the football 10 times, Minnesota head coach Kevin O’Connell sounded apologetic when he stated that the talented running back “is a very important player for our transgression”, and that he is going to “make sure that we” [Cook] touches” ahead.
That’s encouraging, and O’Connell can argue he will ensure Cook will be more involved in the attack as the season progresses, but we’ll have to see it to be believed. Especially if the Vikings defense continues to play two-handed touch for the rest of the year as they did in week 2 and constantly play the attack from behind.
If Cook’s role at Minnesota isn’t enough to justify his $17.7 million cap hit this year, then the team might be better off seeing what they can get for him in a trade before this season’s deadline on November 1st.
Not only would the Vikings free up nearly $9 million in cap space if they traded the running back this year, but his value in a potential deal could be much higher right now than during the upcoming off-season. A deal involving Cook could likely land a future third-round draft pick or possibly a second-rounder, depending on the circumstances.
The trade deadline is still over a month away and a lot can happen in the NFL between now and then, especially injuries. If a contending team loses its peak performance in the coming weeks due to a significant injury, it may be interesting to make a trade for Cook.
If Minnesota’s season also gets out of hand, they may end up being the ones to start a trade involving the running back. With another regime now in charge of the Vikings, nothing in terms of roster moves should be ruled out.
At this point, two weeks into the season, are the chances of Cook being traded low? Yes, but if the running back is handed over to another team before the November 1 deadline, don’t act like this is the most shocking news in the world.