Vikings running back Dalvin Cook reported on time for training camp despite a report that he would not show up until he receives a new contract, per ESPN’s Courtney Cronin. Some confusion surrounding his reporting or not flared up last week, as we heard conflicting reports, but with little incentive to miss Day 1 of training camp, Cook reported.
If Cook hadn’t shown, he wouldn’t have accrued a season and would be under contract another year. The Vikings have discussed an extension with Cook in the past and historically have done deals in in training camp, so there is still a chance something gets done, especially with Cook in camp.
The NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement makes it tough for players to hold out, as they don’t get the accrued year and are fined $50,000 every missed day. With no actual practicing going on, Cook could have complied to avoid the penalties but could still try to find leverage by not practicing later in camp. But, showing up is a goodwill gesture that could help lead to contract talks as well.
The Vikings do have a strong backup running back in Alexander Mattison, so Cook’s hope to be paid as one of or the top back in the league probably isn’t going to happen. By showing up to camp, he has shown a willingness and an understanding of his situation, so he may end up signing an extension that the Vikings are comfortable with, but only time will tell.