Potential landing sites for Vikings star Dalvin Cook

The Minnesota Vikings have started to eliminate some of the veterans from their roster, and star running back Dalvin Cook could be next out.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, several teams believe Minnesota held trade talks for Cook. On Wednesday, Minnesota re-signed RB Alexander Mattison, 24, who has been effective under a heavy workload and could become the starter this season.

In 2023, Cook’s cap is $14.1 million, followed by $15.6 million in 2024 and $13.5 million in 2025. He will be a free agent in 2026 and has no plans to take a pay cut.

Here are three potential adjustments for the four-time Pro Bowler if Minnesota decides to trade him:

Atlanta Falcons

A top-notch rushing attack under HC Arthur Smith could be the perfect place to maximize Cook’s remaining productive seasons. Only Philadelphia averaged more rushing attempts per game than Atlanta last season, and the Falcons are expected to remain near the top of the league in rushing attempts in 2023.

Atlanta had the highest-ranked run-blocking unit by Pro Football Focus last season (83.7), and it just re-signed guard Chris Lindstrom and tackled Kaleb McGary on long-term deals. .

RBs Cordarrelle Patterson and Tyler Allgeier are still on the list. Nonetheless, Cook could replace Patterson, who was phased out of the attack towards the end of the season as Allgeier emerged as a productive contributor. As a rookie, Allgeier, a fifth-round pick, was seventh among NFL RBs in yards per carry (4.9).

With the second-highest space in the NFL, Atlanta can afford Cook’s lucrative contract, and a wide-open NFC South could give him another shot at making the playoffs.

Buffalo Tickets

RB Devin Singletary, the only Bills player with more rushing yards than QB Josh Allen since 2018, is a free agent, and it’s unclear if he’ll return. Cook’s younger brother James was a rookie for Buffalo last season, but he might not excel as a three-try defenseman.

The older cook will eventually be in a better position to serve as a complementary back, and what better successor to act as a mentor than his brother? Buffalo on Monday restructured the contracts of Allen and OLB Von Miller, freeing up $32 million in cap space. More wages will likely be adjusted, creating plenty of wiggle room for Cook’s contract.

Buffalo hasn’t had a 1,000-yard rush since LeSean McCoy in 2017. Cook, who has topped 1,100 rushing yards in his last four seasons, could end the streak. He may be the missing piece for the Allen Bills to finally reach the Super Bowl.

chicago bears

After trading the No. 1 overall pick for a meaningful return, the Bears made several splashes early in free agency. However, they lost running back David Montgomery to the Lions on Tuesday and need to replace his 801 rushing yards from last season.

As general manager Ryan Poles builds an offense suited to the strengths of QB Justin Fields, he will need to bring in a talented running back to lighten Fields’ workload. By adding Cook to a backfield with Fields and RB Khalil Herbert, there’s a real possibility the Bears will lead the league in rushing for a second straight season.

While it may be difficult to come to an agreement with a division rival, Chicago has the draft picks and excess cap space to facilitate a worthwhile trade. A combination of their multiple fourth-, fifth-, and seventh-round picks should be enough, given recent trade returns from various NFL stars.

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