The Facts: Cook is now officially free to find a new home. The Vikings released the running back on Friday after six seasons, the team announced. "I hold Dalvin in the highest regard and am grateful for his contributions on and off the field. Dalvin is a tough, dynamic player and a respected leader by his teammates, which was evident by his multiple seasons as a team captain," head coach Kevin O'Connell said in a statement from the team's website.
Diehards Line: Cook's impending departure was first reported on Thursday, with Minnesota having one last day to find a trade suitor rather than lose the four-time Pro Bowler for nothing, but such a move did not come to fruition. Instead, the Vikes have moved another veteran off the books in an exodus of an offseason that has already seen them release wide receiver Adam Thielen and trade pass rusher Za’Darius Smith. By releasing Cook after June 1, the team saves $9 million in cap space this season and $12.5 million the following year, with $5.1 million and $3.1 million in dead money the next two years, respectively. Even with the runaway devaluation of RBs, Cook should garner interest from multiple teams entering his age-28 season. He has run for 5,993 yards and 47 touchdowns in his career, and he showed no signs of slowing down last year while amassing 1,173 yards on the ground, his second-most in an NFL campaign.