The four-time Pro Bowl ball-carrier would bring some much-needed credibility to an Arizona Cardinals squad that has hit rock bottom.
Almost overnight, the Arizona Cardinals organization has become the laughingstock of the NFL. Following a disastrous 4-13 campaign, owner Michael Bidwill thought it would be best to blow things up. The result of that decision is that Cardinals enthusiasts will have very little to look forward to this coming season.
Bidwill could give Cards fans a little something to get excited about if he would allow first-year general manager Monti Ossenfort to spend some money. According to Spotrac.com, the club has roughly $23.2 million in salary-cap room at the present time. That's more than enough money to attract a four-time Pro Bowl running back who could be available to the highest bidder in just a matter of hours.
Various reports are indicating that Dalvin Cook, a former second-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings, is about to be released. Apparently, the 27-year-old has been about as popular on the trade market as star wideout DeAndre Hopkins was when Arizona was dangling him. The Vikings obviously had no takers for Cook's existing contract, and are now being forced to simply cut ties with the former Florida State University product.
Over the next three campaigns, Cook was slated to make $10.4 million in 2023, $11.9 million in 2024 and $12.9 million in 2025. Those numbers may have been a bit-inflated for a back who has already logged six NFL seasons. Walking away now will save Minnesota a cool $9 million, with new starter Alexander Mattison ($2.4 million cap charge) stepping in as a more affordable alternative.
Arizona Cardinals could put smiles on the faces of the fanbase by bringing Dalvin Cook to the desert
Admittedly, Cook is not the type of acquisition that the Cardinals front office has been making this offseason. In fact, Ossenfort's less than mediocre free-agent signings have many observers convinced that the franchise is "tanking" it in '23. Could the Redbirds elect to go against the grain, and add the sensational Cook to an extremely undermanned roster?
In his 73 professional appearances (72 starts), Cook has racked up 5,993 yards and 47 touchdowns on the ground for the Vikings. The 5 foot 10, 210 pounder has also proved his worth as a pass-catcher, tallying 221 receptions for 1,794 yards and another five scores during his stint with Minnesota.
Bringing Cook into the mix would give the Cards a phenomenal one-two punch at the running back position. James Conner is a 6 foot 1, 233 pound bruiser who likes to run roughshod over would-be tacklers. A Cook-Conner combination in the Arizona backfield would present nightmares for defensive coordinators around the league.
Landing such a talented player would likely require management to outbid what could very well be several prospective suitors. Interestingly enough, Ossenfort has the cash to do it. It would be difficult to imagine any member of the "Red Sea" not wanting to see Cook rocking one of those spiffy new Cardinals uniforms next fall.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)