Dalvin Cook is the luxury signing that the Miami Dolphins need in 2023

Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) celebrates
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) celebrates / Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins are still the expected landing spot for former Vikings running back Dalvin Cook and while he is a luxury signing, the Dolphins need him.

Tick, tick, tick...somewhere there is a tock too but what we know right now is that as of 4:00 pm yesterday afternoon, Dalvin Cook is a free agent and he has not been officially linked to anyone just yet.

Reports in the hours before his release said that both the Dolphins and Broncos could be interested in Cook. If Cook is chasing money, he will be with Denver but if he is chasing a chance at a championship, Miami should be his choice. In fact, if Miami is chasing a championship, throw luxury out the window as Cook is the way to go.

Dalvin Cook has had his share of injuries and missed football games but when he is healthy and he was last year, Cook can be elite. In Miami, he would be elite and the best pure running back the Dolphins have had on the roster since Ricky Williams. Let that sink in.

Cook can burn a defense with his ability to run the ball and then burn them in the passing game as well. In Miami he won't have to be overworked and while he will split carrier, possibly with three other running backs, the reality is that Cook gives Miami an edge that defenses will be hard pressed to counter.

How do you cover Tyreek Hill? You roll coverage with at least a corner and a safety. How do you cover Jaylen Waddle? With a corner and a nickel or safety. Add in a slot receiver like Braxton Berrios or Chosen Anderson and you are covering slot guys with a linebacker or inside corner. Put Durham Smythe or Eric Saubert into the passing lanes and you have a one one one match with a linebacker.

Now add in the option of Dalvin Cook who could just as easily take the ball behind scrimmage or on an outside swing pass.

Last year, Miami's running game wasn't great but that was more on the play calling of Mike McDaniel. The production from Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson were fine when the opportunity was there. While fans like Mostert and Wilson, neither are Dalvin Cook. Neither have that ability to make defenses worry.

Last year, defenses took away Hill and Waddle when they could and didn't worry about Miami's running backs. With Dalvin Cook, they have to worry and that gives Mike McDaniel a lot of options.

Chris Grier has basically gone all-in with trying to get a championship in Miami sooner rather than later. He failed to rebuild the roster from scratch following the roster dump of 2019 and instead turned to trades and free agency to build his current roster.

Deals with Hill, Terron Armstead, and Bradley Chubb are designed to win now but if Miami really is all-in, then Cook is the cherry on the top of that Sundae.

Grier may not want to spend the money on Cook. But he is saving money by not adding an above average right tackle or left guard. He is saving money by releasing Cedrick Wilson or getting a new deal for Christian Wilkins. Grier knows there are options to move money around and Cook is a player that Miami should have that value on.

Miami can afford to have three primary runners in 2023. Mostert, Wilson, and Cook should hold the reigns while rookie DeVon Achane learns the system. In 2024, Mostert and Wilson could be gone, Achane should be ready for a bigger role, and Cook should become the featured back entirely.

The Dolphins offense is fast but it needs a little toughness and Cook has that. In a division that is stout at quarterback and divisional defenses that will ultimately decide the AFC East winner, getting more firepower on offense is critical and the Dolphins have that option in their lap right now.

Grier has a tendency to be fickle with his spending, with Cook, he just needs to get it done. Especially if he views this team as one that can win it all. With Cook, they just might.