Denver Broncos rumored to land 4X Pro Bowl RB

Minnesota Vikings v Chicago Bears
Minnesota Vikings v Chicago Bears / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

Following recent speculation and reports that Dalvin Cook could potentially be soon parting ways with the Minnesota Vikings, the Denver Broncos have been rumored as one of three teams to land the four-time pro bowler behind the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills.

Cook is coming off four straight seasons of over 1,100 rushing yards and has scored double-digit touchdowns in all of them but one in 2021. Cook has easily cemented himself as a top-five running back in the NFL and truly demonstrates the epitome of consistency in production when available on the field. In 2023, Cook is scheduled for a $10.4M base salary and the Vikings will absorb a $14.1M cap hit if he is retained however, does not seem to be trending in that direction.

Cook, 27, is coming off a full 17-game season in which he nearly eclipsed 1,200 rushing yards and was selected to his fourth straight pro bowl in Minnesota. Despite past injury concerns and aging closer to his thirties, Cook most certainly has lots of great ball ahead of him although, the Vikings organization does not seem to believe he is worth the salary he is earning.

Pending his release, Cook reportedly voice his preferred destinations in the event he is a free agent and informed Fox News' Armando Salguero that he prefers to sign with the Dolphins (where he was born and raised) and the Bills (where his younger brother, James Cook, is featured in the backfield). While both destinations seem like ideal fits schematically, it doesn't feel too realistic given the fact that Miami's RB room is loaded with talent and established investment. As for Buffalo, I struggle to believe that Dalvin Cook would prefer to choose a team where he will essentially be stealing snaps from his own brother who appears to be the current clear-cut starter. Not to mention, the Buffalo Bills are currently sitting at a low $1.51M in cap space, making it quite difficult to make such a big signing.

On the Denver Broncos' side of the situation, their backfield features the likes of Javonte Williams, who is making phenomenal progress in his recovery back from a gruesome knee injury, and Samaje Perine who was signed to a two-year, $7.5M deal earlier in the off-season. While there is no clear certainty as to which RB will fill in the third roster spot come week one, Denver still has options of their own on their 90-man roster in second-year player Tyler Badie, veteran Tony Jones Jr., and Damarea Crockett who is coming off a torn ACL in last year's training camp.

Of these three running backs, there is a lot of "unknown" and doesn't appear to feature any high ceilings however, the third-string RB spot isn't the biggest game changer for Denver's offense but still presents an impact to a certain extent. And with injuries, reliable depth is always needed, regardless of the position.

From the outside looking in, you can't help but imagine the success this offense would endure with the likes of Dalvin Cook in a featured backfield with a healthy Javonte Williams. While RB is not a highly valued position whatsoever, the contribution Cook would bring to Denver's offense would be an instant game-changer and would only make it even more difficult for defenses to game-plan against two top 15 running backs on the same offense.

Cook would make it easier for Williams to comfortably recover at his own pace and would even reduce pressure from the young 23-year-old star to open play concepts for the entire offense. Talk about a run-first team, defenses would be in shambles. However, at the end of the day, it's all going to come down to the money.

Can the Denver Broncos afford such an expensive talent in Dalvin Cook? Broncos currently obtain roughly $10M in cap space meaning it is technically possible to make this signing, considering Cook will be receiving significantly less in the open market than he was scheduled to make in the final years of his five-year, $63M contract with the Minnesota Vikings.

Will the Broncos devote essentially the remainder of their salary cap and form a two-headed monster in the mile-high city? Or will Sean Payton settle with the additions of Samaje Perine and Tony Jones Jr.? I believe Cook is headed elsewhere, but only time will tell as a move is expected soon.

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