And so it Begins... Dalvin's Holdout
Honestly, did anyone NOT see this coming? I've been saying this for months now, and nobody believed me. Take it from Schefty himself:
Maybe I wasn't so crazy when I wrote that the Vikes should've traded Cook before this happened... At least then we could've gotten some return. Now, the Vikings lose all leverage they had for negotiations. Who could have imagined the vikes would screw something up?
As far as I see it now, the Vikings have two options:
1.) Sign Dalvin to a "reasonable" extension, as Schefter said
And just what does a reasonable deal entail??
SIXTEEN MILLION DOLLARS??? FOR A RUNNING BACK??? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR DAMN MIND???
In case you haven't noticed, the NFL is a passing league. Rick Spielman knew this when he signed Kirk Cousins to an expensive deal, locking him in as our franchise QB. Spending all that money on Kirk just to have him throw 10 times and hand the ball off 70 times is NOT the recipe for a Lombardi trophy.
90% of Super Bowl winning teams do not have an overpaid running back on the payroll. From my article linked above (also again here):
Super Bowl Winning Running Backs
Pierre Thomas, 2009: $460,000
James Starks, 2010: $420,300
Ahmad Bradshaw, 2011: $6.5 million (thanks to $5.0 million signing bonus)
Ray Rice, 2012: $17 million (thanks to $15 million signing bonus)
Marshawn Lynch, 2013: $7.0 million
LeGarrette Blount, 2014: $1.85 million
C.J. Anderson, 2015: $585,000
LeGarrette Blount, 2016: $1.5 million
LeGarrette Blount, 2017: $1.25 million
Sony Michel, 2018: $1.75 million (cap hit)
With a few rare exceptions, paying a running back is NOT worth it. Which leads me to the second option the Vikings have:
2.) Release Dalvin Cook
This pains me to say. I love Dalvin. He's dynamic, explosive, and fun to watch. But $16 million for an injury prone, mostly unproven running back with one good season? No thanks.
Which is why the Vikings should have traded him before they (publicly) got into this mess. Now, we have no trade leverage, so the only option is to let him go to a team that will make the mistake of overpaying a player at the easiest position to replace according to analytics.
This is why we can't have nice things.