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Stein’s Sideline: What is Fair Market Value for Dalvin Cook?

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Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook is coming off the best season of his career. Cook led the Vikings to the Playoffs last year and helped Minnesota win a extremely tough game against New Orleans. The latest news that people are finding out is that he won’t show up to camp without a new deal. Cook is expected to make around $1.3 million this season. Cook is absolutely worth more than 1.3 million. However, how much is he officially worth compared to other backs that have signed similar deals.

Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams. 4 years $60 million. In July 2018, Gurley signed a 4-year 60 million extension through 2023, with $45 million in guaranteed money. 2018 was a great regular season for Gurley which helped land the Rams to a Super Bowl. 2019 was a subpar year for Gurley who had his numbers decline severely due to health concerns. Fast forward to 2020 and Gurley is now out of L.A. and in his home state of Georgia to play for his hometown Falcons. Was the extension worth it for the Rams? Not completely. Was it worth it for Gurley? Absolutely YES considering his ongoing knee issues.

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys 6 years $90 Million ($50 Million Guaranteed).

Ezekiel Elliott is the focal point of the Cowboys offense no matter how much Dak believes he should get. Ezekiel Elliott makes Dak better than he actually is. Ezekiel Elliott has a great individual season for the Cowboys in 2019 however the Cowboys failed to make the playoffs since he signed his extension. Now he has a new head coach in Mike McCarthy who had Aaron Rodgers during his time in Green Bay. Is the extension worth it? It’s too early to tell however with Jerry wanting multiple Super Bowls right now I’m going no.

Christian McCaffery Carolina Panthers. 4 years $64 million. Christian McCaffery was the first back in Dalvin’s draft class to get a new deal. With the arrivals of Matt Rhule and Teddy Bridgewater this is a wait and see. CMC came off of a 1000 rushing, 1000 receiving season which led to this extension. Carolina has tough opponents in the NFC South with New Orleans, Tampa Bay, and Atlanta still has talent on the Offensive side of the ball stay tuned here.

LeVeon Bell 4-years $52 million- New York Jets. LeVeon Bell skipped a full season because he felt like Pittsburgh wasn’t paying him enough. One of the better backs in Pittsburgh he decided Pittsburgh wasn’t offering enough at 5 years and 70 million. Bell ended up sitting out and settling for a 4 year 52 million deal with the Jets. Worth it? BELL NO. Pittsburgh would have been the better choice out of those two teams for Bell. Had Bell signed that extension with Pittsburgh we may still have an Antonio Brown sighting in Pittsburgh. So in that essence you can say it was worth it to get Antonio Brown on his way out of town.

Melvin Gordon attempted the same route with holding out for a new deal. Talk about one of those all time backfires. Melvin was a late arrival in 2019 which devalued his Free Agency market value where he settled for 2 years and $16 million with the AFC West rival Broncos.

Minnesota did a 6-year $96 million deal with Adrian Peterson where he had a MVP season and another rushing title. During that same time he sat out close to the 2014 season with legal troubles. He also missed a big chunk of 2016 because of a torn meniscus. With only two playoff appearances and one division title was that extension worth it? Adrian was a big part of US Bank Stadium as well as the new facility in Eagan so in that respect I’ll say yes even though expectations on the field for deep playoff runs were not met.

Dalvin Cook still hasn’t played a full healthy season

2017-Torn ACL in Week 4

2018-Hamstring issues

2019-Chest/Shoulder injuries

What is Dalvin Cook worth? Right now, I’d give a 3-year $35 million or a 4-year $50 million extension, but you have to be careful especially on the guaranteed money side. You can do something like a 4-60 or a 5-75 but the guaranteed money wouldn’t be as much in case of injury.


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