Should the Arizona Cardinals trade Budda Baker for Dalvin Cook?

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - New York Giants v Minnesota Vikings
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - New York Giants v Minnesota Vikings / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

With two star players from the 2017 NFL Draft on the Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings seeking potential trades, the two teams should consider a swap.

Dalvin Cook and Budda Baker were selected just a few picks apart in the 2017 NFL Draft, and they have become among the best in the league at their respective positions. While Baker seems to be tired of yet another rebuild (who can blame him?) contract issues seem to be the reason Minnesota wants to move Cook. 

While the possibility exists that the Vikings could cut their star running back, it could make more sense for Minnesota to call up a few potential takers and see if they can get something for him before they decide to cut ties. 

And looking at SpoTrac, trading Cook for Baker could be something the Vikings can swing, as they’re looking at roughly a $6.2 million in dead cap while saving roughly $7.9 million in the process if they move the back before June 1st. The Cardinals would be in a similar situation regarding Baker, as they would see $7.55 million against the dead cap, and $9.3 million in cap savings. 

Trading Baker for Cook makes sense for the Arizona Cardinals

There will be some obstacles, however. While the Vikings are looking to cut Cook to save money on their salary cap and Baker carries a larger cap hit, it means Minnesota would likely need to continue making roster transactions for Baker to fit the roster. 

However, this makes sense for the Vikings because at this point, they could use help at the position. Harrison Smith is 34 and he will start to backslide sooner than later, while the 32nd overall pick in 2022, Lewis Cine, did nothing, landing on injured reserve after playing in just three games. 

Also last season, the Vikings were relegated to playing Camryn Bynum who, despite posting 81 tackles and two picks, was abysmal in pass coverage, and he ended up earning a fringe 58.2 rating for the season per PFF. 

As for acquiring Cook, it’s simple if you’re the Cardinals. For one, you have the cap space. And for another, if DeAndre Hopkins is on his way out, it leaves Arizona with some talented but small receivers. And with a backup quarterback potentially taking reps early in the season, it wouldn’t hurt to have a productive runner like Cook line up alongside another solid back in James Conner, especially in the season’s early going. 

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