Dalvin Cook is considered an integral part of the Minnesota Vikings offense. Cook rushed 250 times for 1135 yards and 13 touchdowns in 14 games during the 2109 NFL season. He also added 53 receptions for 519 yards but was kept out of the end zone in the passing game. Despite playing more games in 2019 than in any of his previous three seasons in the league, he still missed two games due to injury. 2020 is the final year of Cook’s rookie contract where he’s set to make $1.3 million.

The Vikings and Cook’s camp want to get an extension finished before the season. Cook has expressed to the team his desire to be one of the highest-paid running backs in the NFL. He originally asked for north of $16 million a year. Christian McCaffery signed an extension in April for $64 million over four-years and is currently the highest-paid player at the position. 

Cook has come down just a bit on his asking price, where CBS reports he’s seeking an Ezekiel Elliot type deal at just under $15 million a year, while Chad Graff; Minnesota Vikings writer at The Athletic, reported Cook’s demand at slightly above David Johnson’s deal and $13 million annually. The Vikings don’t seem interested in paying him this type of money: Minnesota originally offered Cook just under $10 million to remain a Viking beyond 2020. Cook’s camp and the Vikings front office seem pretty far from agreeing on an extension with such a wide gap.

ESPN reported Cook will hold out until he receives a new contract from Minnesota. This news has fantasy owners everywhere scrambling. However, under the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) ratified by the NFLPA and owners this offseason, a player who fails to report to training camp on time can lose an accrued season toward free agency. The rule is very different from the previous CBA, allowing 30 days until the league could enforce such an action.

Fines aren’t mandatory under the new CBA for a player on their rookie contract. Cook currently remains on his. Any fines he incurs during his holdout could be refunded or “wiped out” by Minnesota after he reports. However, the loss of an accrued season is enforced by the league office and not by the team. It is considered mandatory for any player able to report but unwilling to do so. 

If Cook misses extended time due to a holdout, it would increase touches for Alexander Mattison, currently ranked RB40 by Dynasty Happy Hour. In limited playing time last season Mattison still managed 100 rushing attempts for 462 yards and a touchdown. His 4.6 yards per carry average would put him in line to be a high upside RB2 on Minnesota’s run heavy offensive scheme. 

Mike Boone is also a player to watch. He started two games in place of Cook and Mattison while they were injured. Boone exploded for 148 yards rushing and a score in a week 17 loss to the Chicago Bears. Both Mattison and Boone would be in line for a large increase in touches if Cook were to holdout.

It seems unlikely Dalvin Cook will holdout due to the new CBA rules. It also makes sense the Vikings want to reach an agreement with their star running back. The two parties seem like they want to get a deal completed before the season begins. Someone will have to compromise and it looks like the team has a lot more leverage under the new CBA. We’ll keep you up to date as the situation changes.

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