Dalvin Cook is good, but do the Miami Dolphins have better options on their current depth chart right now - Yes! I don’t get or understand the hype. Why would they bring in Cook, if what the Dolphins have already is just as good and could potentially create chaos in the locker room.
Look Cook is leaving the Vikings due to this salary cap number. Running backs are becoming a scarce resource in the NFL. Teams are no longer bringing the brink trucks to their front yard and unloading the cash. There are very rare situation where running backs get paid, think Christian Mccaffrey. Don’t believe it?
Ezekiel Elliott is still a free agent and no one has looked to sign him. This was a top 5 overall selection and an elite running back that changed the scope of how defense played against him.
Austin Ekeler is the Chargers version of Christian McCaffrey and the Chargers refuse to pay him. Ekeler is making 6MM this year, and to a lot of teams that is too high for a running back. Which is crazy if you think about the production Ekeler has shown in the past two seasons.
The list goes one, but the era of the Running back is all about rookie contracts. Jonathan Taylor, who looked like the best running back in NFL two years ago, has no contract offers from the Colts this past season and could most likely become a free agent or even a trade target during the upcoming season. Mainly due to the fact that he’s looking for a payday, and the Colts don’t want to allocate spending on running back.
Back to Cook - who is most likely going to command at least double digit salary cap allocation. This isn’t a player that is going to come to Miami for a chance to win a SuperBowl, as this isn’t guaranteed, and the last time I checked the AFC East looks like the toughest division in the NFL. Cook is from Florida, that is the Dolphins only play, he has friends and family that live here. Is that enough to entice him to come to Miami - no. This player wants to get paid. The Dolphins are going into this season and 2024, 2025 in salary cap hell! That’s a story for another day - but there is no long term play for Cook in Miami, as the Dolphins can’t even determine or decide how to get Christian Wilkins under contract (which should be more of priority then Cook).
Rewind to this past offseason, where Chris Grier had an empty depth chart when you look at the Running back category. Myles Gaskin, Jeff Wilson, Raheem Mostert and Salvon Ahmed were all free agents. As such a decision was made to bring them all back! Not look at the free agent pool to determine a better fit. Coach McDaniel determined that he liked the depth enough to keep it status quo. Well that was until the draft and the Dolphins added Devon Achane - a 3rd round selection and the fastest player this past combine.
I know nothing about Achane, except that this kid is fast. I didn’t watch any Texas A&M games, but from the highlights that I have seen he looks like Darren Sproles mixed in with Jahvid Best. If that is the case, the Miami Dolphins should be very fortunate.
Taking a closer look at Jeff Wilson and his 4.9 yard per carry average last year, you can understand why the Dolphins brought him back. He still young at 27 and his salary is 100% cap friendly. He knows Mike McDaniel and this playbook for their time in San Francisco.
Everything that I said about Wilson, can be said about Mostert. Wilson and Mostert had the exact same yard per carry average at 4.9. Mostert is a little older but faster than Wilson and together they can have a dynamic one to punch. They both have to work on their control and fumbling issues, but having Gaskin and Amed as back-ups make sense.
With all these riches, why bring in Dalvin Cook? Both lead backs averaged more yards per carry than Cook (4.4 vs 4.9). Current roster candidates have a more flexible salary cap than Cook will demand, and the chemistry between Wilson, Mostert, Gaskin has been established for over a year now.
So what am I missing? Cook isn’t the answer to bring the Dolphins over the top, when McDaniel has everything he needs already in the locker room.