NFL

Dalvin Cook’s 2019 Earnings Made Him 1 of the Best Bargains in the NFL

Reports are swirling that running back Dalvin Cook will not participate in team activities with the Minnesota Vikings until he gets a new deal. Many people might wonder if the Vikings should give him what he wants, as durability could be an issue. However, when looking at Dalvin Cook’s 2019 earnings, and at how he played in 2019, he was actually a massive bargain.

Dalvin Cook had an excellent season in 2019

Dalvin Cook reportedly wants a new contract with the Minnesota Vikings. When looking at Cook's earnings in 2019, he was an absolute bargain.
Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings runs with the ball against the New Orleans Saints in January. | Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

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After the Minnesota Vikings selected Dalvin Cook in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft, Cook only played in four games during his rookie season. He showed glimpses of what he could do, though. Cook ran for 354 yards in those games on 4.8 yards per attempt. 

Then in 2018, Cook only played in 11 games. He, however, ran for 615 yards in those games on 4.6 yards per attempt. 

Finally, in 2019, though, Cook played in enough games to really show what he can do in the NFL. He played in 14 games in the regular season for the Vikings, and ultimately ran for 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also caught 53 passes for 519 yards. Cook’s play in 2019 ultimately led to him earning his first Pro Bowl selection too.

In the playoffs, Cook had a big game in a win over the New Orleans Saints. He ultimately ran for 94 yards and two touchdowns. 

Wanting a contract extension

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Dalvin Cook will reportedly not participate in team-related activities until and unless he receives a deal that he considers to be reasonable, according to ESPN.

“He’s out,” a source said, according to ESPN. “Without a reasonable extension, he will not be showing up for camp or beyond.”

ESPN also reported that Cook wants his yearly earnings to match or surpass David Johnson‘s as he makes $13 million per year. 

The Vikings and Cook have not talked since last week and do not have any discussions scheduled, ESPN reports.

Dalvin Cook’s 2019 earnings made him a bargain

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The durability could be an issue for the Vikings. However, what Cook was able to do for them last season, and at the price he did it for, made him an absolute bargain.

Cook was 10th in the NFL in rushing yards last season. Other than Josh Jacobs of the Oakland Raiders, every guy ahead of him played more games than him too.

Cook was also fourth in the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 13, only behind Derrick Henry, Aaron Jones, and Christian McCaffrey. Henry and McCaffrey were both Pro Bowl selections last season, and McCaffrey was a first-team All-Pro.

So, based on his numbers, Cook was a top-10 running back at the very least. 

He did not get paid like one, though. Cook’s 2019 earnings were extremely low, especially with him still being on his rookie deal. 

In 2019, Cook earned an estimated $1.04 million, according to Spotrac. That ranked 50th among running backs in the NFL last season. He made less than Kenyan Drake, according to Spotrac, who ran for just 817 yards last season. He also made less than Benny Snell (426 rushing yards in 2019), Damien Williams (498 yards), Darrell Henderson (147 yards), and many other guys that did not play nearly as well as he did.

Additionally, his cap hit was just 35th in the NFL, according to Spotrac. His cap hit was less than Peyton Barber (470 yards), Malcolm Brown (255 yards), and Rex Burkhead (302 yards). 

Hesitancy on the Minnesota Vikings’ part definitely makes sense. Dalvin Cook has missed 19 regular-season games in his first three seasons. However, he was an absolute bargain last year as the team got his Pro Bowl services for a very low price.

Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference