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Dalvin Cook to be released by Vikings with expected interest from Dolphins

The Minnesota Vikings are releasing running back Dalvin Cook. Will the Miami Dolphins look to sign the free agent?

Indianapolis Colts v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

After months of speculation, the Minnesota Vikings are releasing running back Dalvin Cook, according to a report from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. The move is not a surprise, given the rumors of a split between Minnesota and their 2017 second-round pick, and follows months of the team trying to find a trade partner to receive some sort of compensation in return for the running back. After not being able to find anyone willing to make a trade, it now appears the team is simply going to move on without their four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Cook joined the Vikings in 2017 after three seasons playing at Florida State. A Miami native, Cook has rushed for 5,993 yards in his six seasons in the NFL with an average of 4.7 yards per carry. He has 47 rushing touchdowns, along with 1,794 receiving yards with five touchdowns.

The Vikings drafted Alexander Mattison in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, re-signing him this offseason on a two-year contract. Minnesota seemed ready to move forward with Mattison as their starting running back, and now it appears that is how they will head into the 2023 season.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the release of Cook may not become official until Friday, with the Vikings hoping a last-minute trade partner materializes.

Rumors throughout the offseason have linked the Miami Dolphins with Cook, potentially bringing the running back home to South Florida. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport indicated multiple teams could be interested in Cook once his release is official, but listed the Dolphins specifically as a team set to inquire. Schefter listed Miami and the Denver Broncos as potential suitors for Cook.

Cook is scheduled to account for $14.1 million against the Vikings’ salary cap this year, including a $10.4 million salary for the season. They would save $9 million in cap space this season by releasing him, while a trade would add another $2 million in savings.

Miami Herald reporter Barry Jackson indicated the Dolphins are expected to make an offer to Cook, but that they do not seem ready to match the $10.4 million salary he would have made this year.

The Dolphins have six running backs on their roster after bringing back all four of their top rushers from last season. Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson, Jr., are expected to lead the group, while Salvon Ahmed and Myles Gaskin return as depth options. Miami selected Texas A&M running back De’Von Achane in the third round of this year’s draft and signed BYU runner Chris Brooks as an undrafted free agent.