Dalvin Cook wants ‘somebody who wants Dalvin Cook’ after release from Vikings

FILE - Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) runs on the field before an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, on Dec. 11, 2022. The Minnesota Vikings are parting ways with the star running back for salary cap savings after his fourth consecutive season surpassing the 1,000-yard rushing mark. Cook has been informed he will be released, a person familiar with the team’s decision told The Associated Press on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
Former Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is exploring his options. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

Dalvin Cook was released by the Minnesota Vikings on Friday after six seasons with the team. Still in Minnesota on Tuesday, he called into the "Rich Eisen Show" and spoke about his outlook as a first-time free agent.

"I want the value. I want somebody who wants Dalvin Cook," Cook said when asked where he'd like to land.

Minnesota cut Cook after it didn’t find a trade partner for the 27-year-old. Speaking to the NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the veteran said he wants to land with a team that will feed him the ball.

He compared the experience of looking for the perfect fit to playing "Madden, saying that he has been contacted with plenty of interest. "Whoever gets Dalvin Cook, they know what they're getting," he said.

Cook mentioned that he contributes on and off the field as a positive locker room presence. "I just want somewhere that feels like home," he said.

Dalvin Cook headshot
Dalvin Cook
2022 - 2023 season

It might take some time, and he said he's willing to wait for the right circumstances before he signs anywhere. That might not be what Miami Dolphins fans were hoping to hear, as the team reportedly "came very close to a trade" with the Vikings for Cook in March and could still have interest.

Cook offered a reminder that he has been playing through a torn labrum over the past few years, clarifying that he's "all fixed up" now. The shoulder is apparently "feeling great" after being cleared by an athletic trainer two weeks ago.

The injury didn't prevent Cook from making an impact. He ran for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns in addition to notching 39 receptions for 295 yards and two touchdowns last season. That production landed him his fourth straight Pro Bowl selection despite the shoulder discomfort and lack of mobility.

Cook signed a five-year, $63 million extension in 2020, but only $2 million of Cook's 2023 salary was guaranteed. The move from his longtime team seemingly came down to money as he was reportedly released due to his $14.1 million salary-cap hit.

New York Giants star Saquon Barkley noted amid his absence from minicamp that the running back position is in a strange place with many of the top players being underpaid due to franchise tagging.

"People are overlooking this position," Cook said in response to Barkley and other players' situations.

With Cook rushing for the fourth-most yards among all running backs since the Vikings drafted him in 2017, he's one of the league's top options. It's unclear what his minimum salary expectation is, but it may need to change in the new market.