EAGAN, Minn. — In an offseason that has already seen the Minnesota Vikings part ways with several big-name players, one more was added to the list.
On Friday, the Vikings officially released Pro Bowl running back Davlin Cook. In a statement, the team acknowledged dropping Cook was one of the multiple decisions directly related to their strained salary cap.
"I hold Dalvin in the highest regard and am grateful for his contributions on and off the field," head coach Kevin O'Connell said in a statement. "Dalvin is a tough, dynamic player and a respected leader by his teammates, which was evident by his multiple seasons as a team captain,"
Owner and Chairman Zygi Wilf and Owner and President Mark Wilf echoed their appreciation for Dalvin's service to the team over the past six years. "His love for playing football in front of the Vikings fan base was evident, and that connection branched into the community where he made an impact around the Twin Cities."
NFL Insider Tom Pelissero first reported the impending roster change on Thursday. Pelissero predicted if Cook hadn't reached a trade deal, he'd have "multiple suitors" looking to sign the 27-year-old free agent.
Cook, who was selected in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, has strung together four straight 1,000-yard seasons and four straight Pro Bowls. In six seasons with the Vikings, he's compiled 5,993 yards rushing and 47 touchdowns.
He's also compiled another 1,794 yards receiving with another five scores.
Detractors felt he had lost a step, but the biggest factor in Cook's pending departure is cap space. According to OverTheCap.com, Cook was due more than $14.1 million this season if he had stayed with the Vikings.
His explosiveness was one of Cook's biggest attributes, and while his highlight-reel plays were limited in 2022 he still had a major impact in some big spots. Justin Jefferson's one-handed grab may have stole the show in Minnesota's 33-30 overtime win over the Buffalo Bills last season, but it was Cook's 81-yard run that helped spark the 17-point comeback.
A month later, Cook caught a screen pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins and took it 64 yards against the Indianapolis Colts to complete the biggest comeback in NFL history.
The running back reins will now be handed over to Alexander Mattison, who signed a two-year, $7 million contract with the Vikings earlier this offseason. Mattison has proven to be an effective runner when filling in for the oft-injured Cook, rushing for 1,670 yards and 11 touchdowns in four seasons. He will share the backfield with speedster Kene Nwangwu, Ty Chandler and rookie DeWayne McBride unless a move is made.
Cook will be the latest household name the Vikings have cut ties with this offseason after releasing hometown favorite Adam Thielen and veteran linebacker Eric Kendricks, and trading edge rusher Za'Darius Smith.
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