The Vikings Are Done With Dalvin Cook & Plan To Release Him Today
PLUS: DeAndre Hopkins To Meet With Patriots
In today’s newsletter:
Vikings set to release Dalvin Cook
DeAndre Hopkins to meet with Patriots
Bryce Young Elevated to #1 Spot in Carolina
Hazardous Air Conditions cancel Giants practice
Russell Wilson’s Teamates comment
So it turns out that the Vikings are done with Dalvin Cook.
6 seasons and 5,993 rushing yards later and the Vikings are sending Cook out the door. Adam Schefter reported yesterday that the Vikings plan to release Cook today. He also mentioned that they would attempt to try to trade Cook one more time on Thursday and if they were unable to find a partner, they would follow through with the release.
The unfortunate reality for NFL running backs is that their shelf life is relatively short. Cook will be 28 when the 2023 season starts.
Running backs over 28 years old who continue to dominate are few and far between. Sure you can always find outliers, guys like Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore, but more often than not backs in their late twenties fall off a cliff.
Oftentimes it comes out of nowhere and takes people by surprise. One year you’re watching Le’veon Bell tear up the league and then not too long after you look up and say, wait, what happened to Le’veon Bell?! Domination one season and non-existent just a few short years later.
Only 3 backs over 28 last year had more than 500 rushing yards: 33 year old Latavius Murray, 30 year old Raheem Mostert, and 29 year old Derrick Henry. Investing mountains of cash in a running back nearing 30 is a bad investment. It may work occasionally, but you’ll end up on the losing end more often than not.
My guess is that the Vikings were not willing to carry a $14 million dollar cap hit for Dalvin Cook in 23’ while having RB Alexander Mattison on their roster, who they gave a 2 year $7 million deal this off-season.
They may fear that Cook’s days of being one of the premier backs in the NFL could end relatively soon. They’re jumping ship before things go south and saving money in the process.
The Vikings will immediately save around $9 million dollars against their salary cap in 2023 the second they release Dalvin Cook. He will still count around $5 million against their cap in 2023 (dead cap hit). The $9 million the Vikings will save is more valuable to them than Dalvin Cook.
Last year Cook led the NFL with 62 carries that resulted in no gain or a loss. The reality is that Cook is not the other worldly explosive back that he once was.
That’s not to say he’s not a talented back, but the amount the Vikings were going to have to pay him was more than they were willing to hand over.
However, I’m still not sold on Alexander Mattison. In both 2021 and 2022 he was unable to break 4 yards per carry. In 2021 he totaled 3.7 yards per carry on 132 attempts and in 2022 he totaled 3.8 yards per carry in 74 attempts. He’ll have a chance in 2023 to prove whether or not he can fill the hole that Dalvin Cook left.
Where could Cook land next?
In the same tweet storm sharing the news of Dalvin’s release Adam Schefter also shared that the Dolphins and Broncos are teams that “have an interest in signing running back Dalvin Cook” once he is finally released.
DeAndre Hopkins To Meet With The Patriots
Hopkins has a second team on his “visit” list. First, the Titans, and now the Patriots. It was reported by Ian Rapoport earlier this morning.
“Former #AZCardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins is set to visit the #Patriots next week, sources say. This is after his #Titans visit, as Hopkins’ free agent market heats up. New England could add a top pass-catcher for Mac Jones.”
The Patriots are in desperate need of more weapons for Mac Jones after a lackluster year for the Patriots offense in 2022. Jones struggled to carry a Patriot’s offense that was void of enough playmakers on offense to get the job done.
The Pats leading receiver in 2022 Jakobi Meyers signed a 3 year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders this off-season. Belichick then made the decision to sign JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Hopkins would be the #1 WR if he signed with New England. He also has a previous tie with Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien who happened to coach Hopkins for 6 years in Houston. The only issue is that there could be some tension between the two considering O’brien traded Hopkins to the Cardinals in 2020.
Michael Irvin shared on ESPN’s show “Get Up” in March of 2020 information that Hopkins shared regarding the relationship.
"He told me, he said, 'Michael, it was a bit of a power struggle there' because Coach O'Brien thought [Hopkins] had too much influence over the locker room," Irvin said.”
Hopkins will have to decide if O’Brien’s presence in New England will be a problem. My guess is that if it were a big deal to Hopkins he wouldn’t have agreed to a visit in New England. This at least shows that he’s willing to give it a chance.
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More News From Around The NFL
Bryce Young Elevated to the #1 QB Spot in Carolina
We all knew this would happen sometime soon. The Panthers future now hangs in the balance after using the first overall pick to draft Young in the 2023 NFL draft. Young and Andy Dalton had been splitting first team reps earlier in off-season practices, but Dalton was still starting out drills as QB1 and was still listed on the roster as QB1. Panthers coach Frank Reich stated that “it’s just the next step.” (via ESPN)
Giants Practice Canceled Because Of Hazardous Air Conditions
If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately you’d have seen the apocalyptic-like orange sky that covered the New York skyline earlier this week. It’s apparently been caused by wildfires in Canada. Because of the hazardous air condition the Giants were forced to cancel practice on Thursday and will likely cancel practice today as well. An NFL team having to cancel practice because of fires in Canada was not on my bingo card for 2023.
Broncos Lineman Backs Russell Wilson
The Broncos traded the farm to bring former Seahawk Russell Wilson to Denver before last season. Things went terribly and the Broncos had the worst offense in the NFL. Now the hope is that with Nathaniel Hackets departure and the arrival of Sean Payton, this Broncos team can elevate its standing in the NFL next season. One Broncos lineman left tackle Garrett Boles had this to say about Wilson’s 2022 struggles via ESPN.
"He's a great dude, he's the same guy every single day, he works his butt off. And I'm ready for that stuff to go away and when it goes, everyone's going to eat crow.''
I’d imagine Wilson will not repeat his atrocious showing we witnessed in 2022. Sean Payton is going to clea things up and operate in a way that plays to Wilson’s strengths.
Even More NFL News
Broncos sign former Chief DE Frank Clark to 1 year deal
Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill’s goal is to break the single season receiving record in 2023
Eagles Jalen Hurts is ready to reset heading into 2023 after super bowl loss, “Last year is over.”
Random Stat Of The Day
Calvin Johnson holds the all time single season receiving record with 1,964 yards in 2012.
Random Question Of the Day
“Where is your happy place?”
There’s honestly nothing better to me than being in the mountains. I love waking up to the crisp mountain air. Last summer I went with my family to Vail Colorado. We stayed in an airbnb that was at the bottom of the mountain. I would wake up, make myself a coffee, and just sit for a while and take in the views. I really never get tired of it. Sometimes I wonder why I live in Dallas, Texas when places like Colorado are out there.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Texas. It’ll always be my home. It’s where I was born and have lived for almost all of the 25 years of my life. It’s just lacking that beauty that places like Colorado are so full of. Who knows, maybe I’ll move one day or at least try to go on more adventurous trips in the future.
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