Gregory Payan/Associated Press
Dalvin Cook and the Minnesota Vikings haven’t reached a contract extension as Week 1 approaches, but the Pro Bowl running back appears fine with the situation.
“Not worried,” Cook told reporters Wednesday. “I’m prepared enough to go play, and I’m physically ready to play. We’ve got a young group that I’m looking to lead and to get somewhere this season. I’ll let the business take care of the business.”
Cook will make $1.3 million in 2020, the final year of his rookie contract. The 2017 second-round pick is coming off the best year of his career, rushing for 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns while adding 53 receptions and 519 yards last season.
After the NFL largely soured on handing out long-term deals to running backs, this offseason has been filled with teams locking up their stars. Christian McCaffrey, Derrick Henry and Joe Mixon all signed long-term deals averaging eight figures per year. Alvin Kamara has spent most of his offseason negotiating with the New Orleans Saints and could get a deal done by Week 1’s kickoff.
Cook remains in limbo after the Vikings tabled contract talks last month. Courtney Cronin of ESPN reported the two sides have not spoken in nearly a month about a new contract.
Cook’s in an interesting position because he has only one fully healthy season under his belt. He suffered a torn ACL during a strong rookie campaign in 2017, before being limited and splitting carries in a frustrating 2018. The Vikings are in a position where they could use the franchise tag if Cook has another big season, giving themselves both long-term flexibility and time to continue negotiations.