Fri Jun 9 1:32pm ET
Field Level Media
The Minnesota Vikings officially released running back Dalvin Cook on Friday after an unsuccessful last-ditch effort to trade the four-time Pro Bowl selection.
Coming off four straight 1,000-yard seasons, Cook is now free to sign with any other team after 4:01 p.m. ET on Friday.
Cook had $2 million guaranteed remaining on his contract with the Vikings, who will take a $5.1 million dead cap hit this season.
A second-round pick in 2017, Cook rushed for 5,993 yards and 47 touchdowns and added 221 receptions for 1,794 yards and five scores in 73 career games (72 starts) in Minnesota.
"I hold Dalvin in the highest regard and am grateful for his contributions on and off the field. Dalvin is a tough, dynamic player and a respected leader by his teammates, which was evident by his multiple seasons as a team captain," Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell said.
"... We appreciate Dalvin's positivity, energy and leadership and will be pulling for him in the future."
Rumored landing spots for Cook during the past couple of months have included the Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos.
Cook, who turns 28 in August, is recovering from offseason surgery to repair a shoulder injury that was originally sustained in 2019. His agency said in February that Cook is expected to be healthy for the start of the season.
The Vikings appear prepared to enter the 2023 season with Alexander Mattison as their lead back. The 2019 third-round pick rushed for 283 yards and five scores in 17 games last season. Ty Chandler and rookie DeWayne McBride are also on the depth chart.
Cook leaves Minnesota ranked third on the franchise rushing list behind Adrian Peterson and Robert Smith.
"Dalvin has been an incredible leader for this organization for years, and I quickly noticed how respected he is among everyone in our building," general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said. "I'm fortunate to have been around such an enjoyable, talented and hardworking person like him over the last year.
"He's etched his name in Vikings history with his production on the field but also by consistently giving back to the Vikings Foundation. We are thankful for everything Dalvin brought to the Vikings and sincerely wish him all the best in his future."
Vikings owner and chairman Zygi Wilf also released a statement following Cook's release.
"Over the past six years, Dalvin has meant so much to our organization. His love for playing football in front of the Vikings fan base was evident, and that connection branched into the community where he made an impact around the Twin Cities," Wilf said. "Dalvin helped us launch the Vikings Table food truck and was a constant advocate for the Minnesota Vikings Foundation. His leadership in the locker room and all-out effort on the field was undeniable and a key reason he was a multi-year team captain. We are extremely grateful for all Dalvin has done for the Vikings and look forward to welcoming him back as a Legend."
--Field Level Media=
Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff had one of the best seasons of his career in 2022 under offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, and he has complete command of the offense and the protections heading into his second season working with Johnson. DetroitLions.com's Tim Twentyman writes that "watching him operate at minicamp it's clear he's 100 percent dialed into Johnson's scheme." Not much was expected of Goff when he was traded from the Rams to the Lions, but he exceeded expectations last year by throwing for 4,438 yards, 29 TDs and seven interceptions in 17 starts to earn his third Pro Bowl bid. The 28-year-old finished as the QB10 in fantasy, but that's probably going to be his ceiling. Not having receiver Jameson Williams for a full season won't help. Target him as a strong QB2.
According to Jets head coach Robert Saleh, the team may consider adding running back Dalvin Cook. Saleh did mention that New York would "turn stones over" while acknowledging he wasn't sure how things would pan out from a financial standpoint. Of course, the Jets have Breece Hall (knee) on the roster, although he's still working his way back from an ACL injury, leaving some to question his availability for Week 1. But even if New York adds Cook, he'll likely play second-fiddle to Hall, at least once the latter is healthy enough to return. However, considering many teams have successfully utilized multiple backfield options in the past, there's certainly room for both men to remain potent fantasy performers.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton is looking for ways to become a better wideout. More specifically, he's been studying film of Michael Thomas' historic 2019 campaign, where he finished with 1,725 receiving yards, nine touchdowns, and 149 catches, the most receptions in a single season in NFL history. After it was speculated that Sutton would be on the move this offseason, it appears the 27-year-old will remain in Denver and play under the guidance of Sean Payton, Thomas' former coach in New Orleans. Although Sutton has been inconsistent from a production standpoint since entering the league while also suffering a serious knee injury in 2020, he has an excellent chance of returning to the Pro Bowl conversation in 2023-24.
Chicago Bears wide receiver DJ Moore is developing a sound working relationship with his new quarterback, Justin Fields. Safety Jaquan Brisker said the duo "looked like they had been teammates for years" during OTAs before adding, "they got that chemistry going very fast." Moore spent his entire career in Carolina, totaling 364 catches for 5,201 yards and 21 touchdowns in 80 regular season appearances. He also had 616 targets and averaged 14.3 yards per catch, giving him appeal in all fantasy setups. That said, the 26-year-old, who was traded to Chicago this offseason, will have plenty of competition for looks from Fields during the 2023-24 campaign. But Moore is still the favorite to be the Bears' top offensive option on the receiving end.
Los Angeles Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson (knee) was spotted doing individual drills at practice on Friday. The 27-year-old signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract in March of 2022 after spending his first four seasons in New England. Unfortunately, his first year in LA abruptly ended after he tore his patellar tendon in Week 7. Although Jackson has a way to go regarding his rehab efforts, the team remains optimistic he'll be ready to start the 2023-24 campaign. But even if he isn't, Friday's update is still positive news for IDP managers.
Dynasty | Chiefs undrafted free agent running back Deneric Prince continues to stand out at OTAs Dynasty Analysis: Prince continues to draw praise for his hands as a receiver and speed of play. The Chiefs are one of the league's better teams in identifying and drafting lower-rated running backs, last year hitting on rookie Isiah Pacheco, now the team's RB1. Prince possesses slightly better size (6'/216) while running a 4.41 40-yard, a score which places him at the top of the 2023's class of running backs related to size-speed metrics. Given his status as an undrafted free agent, Prince largely remains off the dynasty rookie radar. That may be a mistake given the recent rise of lower-round and undrafted running backs eventually making hay in the NFL. Considering the Chiefs' offense and somewhat lacking running back depth chart, Prince makes for an intriguing late-round selection in rookie drafts. Deneric Prince is unranked on DLF's top-250 rankings and is found as a sparsely ranked RB17 in our rookie rankings.
Dynasty | Brandon Aiyuk was the best player on the field during spring practices Dynasty Analysis: He continues to draw rave reviews from players and coaches with cornerback Deommodore Lenoir suggesting Aiyuk will be a top-five receiver in 2023. Entering his fourth year, the receiver has improved his statistical production each year previous, culminating into a 78/1,015/8 line in 2022, his first 1,000-yard campaign. Listed as DLF's WR29, Aiyuk's WR3 status provides value-on upside and he'll player the entirety of the 2023 season at just 25-years-old.
Dynasty | 49ers running back Jordan Mason looked natural as a pass catcher during spring practices Dynasty Analysis: Fellow back Elijah Mitchell was sidelined with a minor injury (again) which provided Mason with more reps behind starter Christian McCaffrey. While Mason isn't known as a receiver due to his 223 lbs. size, by all accounts he showed well. The second-year player is well liked and could have a meaningful if (when?) Mitchell were to fall to injury again during the regular season. Jordan Mason is listed as a sparsely ranked RB82 on DLF's running back rankings.
Dynasty | Sam LaPorta has been a favorite target of Jared Goff, especially in the red zone. Dynasty Analysis: It's been a recurring theme for LaPorta this offseason after being selected in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft. The Lions traded away standout tight end TJ Hockenson (MIN) in 2022 and replaced him with LaPorta this offseason. In one of the top tight end schemes in the league, the athletic 6'4" rookie played at Iowa, a college some consider "Tight End U" and he projects highly in the Lions passing revamped passing offense. Pads aren't on yet but LaPorta, DLF's TE17, remains an upside value target in dynasty rookie drafts, still possessing a mid-second round ADP.
Dynasty | The move was fully expected after news broke yesterday, but the Vikings took one more shot at trading the ultra-productive veteran. Dynasty Analysis: Cook is now officially a free agent and likely won't take long before answering the question as to where he'll play in 2023. While Miami and Buffalo seemingly remain the most likely landing spots, he's also been linked to both Denver and the New York Jets. Should Cook sign with the Jets, the fantasy fallout would be significant. Cook is listed as DLF's RB22. It's recommended to wait for the dust to settle related to his situation before considering acquiring Dalvin Cook.
Dynasty | An offseason news piece suggests rookie running back Zach Charbonnet will garner significant playing time as a rookie Dynasty Analysis: A collective groan arose from the dynasty community when the Seahawks selected Charbonnet in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft, torpedoing current starter Kenneth Walker's second-year potential and dynasty ranking. In yet another example of the lack of dependability for the running back position, Walker's draft ADP fell a full round to 26 following the draft. As for Charbonnet, he's a do-it-all back with the ability to carry-the-load if called upon. Instead, the Seahawks now possess an upside RBBC which will likely mute the production of all involved. Zach Charbonnet is found as DLF's RB33.
Dynasty | Bears' offensive coordinator Luke Getsy said Justin Fields won't be limited in his rushing ability Dynasty Analysis: Getsy used the term "robotic" in suggesting that he isn't forcing Fields to be a pocket-passer and, instead, will trust Fields' instincts as a quarterback. It's good news for the the third-year passer who rushed for 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns in 2022. At the same time, Fields needs to develop as a passer if he hopes to remain healthy over the long term and a more successful passing attack will lead to increased effectiveness as a runner. It's anyone's guess how Fields will perform in 2023 and whether his rushing totals will diminish materially. What is known is that the team continues to upgrade its receiver room in hopes of balancing its offensive attack. Listed as DLF's QB8, Justin Fields remains a high-upside, risk-on, player with a lot of questions to be answered in 2023.
Dynasty | Bryce Young has been elevated to the QB1 on the Panthers depth chart. Dynasty Analysis: While Young sits atop the depth chart, he's not yet considered the "starter." It's only a formality at this point with full expectation that Young will be under-center when the Panthers take the field in week one of the regular season. By all accounts, Young has impressed with his abilities and is already showing leadership, intelligence and command of the huddle in his short time as a rookie. Look for the official move to "starter" to occur mid-way through training camp. Young is listed as DLF's QB14 and our rookie QB2 behind only Anthony Richardson.
Detroit Lions rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs and tight end Sam LaPorta are both expected to play significant roles early on in their first NFL seasons, and they have both been impressive in showing their playmaking abilities this spring. Gibbs is a smooth and fluid runner with excellent burst and balance, but he has really impressed with his route-running abilities as a pass-catcher. His versatility will allow Detroit to use both him and David Montgomery on the field together. LaPorta is explosive and is able to gain separation from defenders effortlessly. He's been a favorite target in the red zone in practices. LaPorta has plenty of intriguing characteristics, but it will most likely be Gibbs with more fantasy upside in his rookie season.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has added noticeable size and strength this offseason as he prepares himself for his fourth season in the NFL. Tagovailoa's 2022 season ended prematurely after suffering multiple concussions, and he ended up playing in only 13 games. But when he was healthy, the 25-year-old looked the best he ever has operating in head coach Mike McDaniel's offensive system. It helps that he has one of the best one-two receiver punches in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, and Tagavailoa has plenty of chemistry with both of them. His concussion injuries might scare many fantasy managers away, but if Tagovailoa can stay healthy in 2023, he should be viewed as a high-upside QB1 option.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. (ankle) took part in team drills at practice on Thursday. It was Chark's first action in 11-on-11 drills since he had a cleanup surgery on his ankle this offseason. The Panthers added the 26-year-old pass-catcher in the offseason to be a starter on the outside opposite Terrace Marshall Jr. He'll be a starter in his first year with Carolina, but his availability is what is in question. Chark has missed 22 of 50 games since he broke out in his second NFL season in 2019 with 1,008 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on 73 receptions. Since then, he has 90 catches for 1,362 yards and 10 TDs in three seasons. Chark has some big-play ability, but he'll likely be a frustrating and inconsistent fantasy option while working with rookie quarterback Bryce Young in 2023.
Seattle Seahawks rookie running back Zach Charbonnet has impressed the coaching staff during offseason workouts, and The Tacoma News Tribune's Gregg Bell says not to be surprised at the playing time and opportunities that Charbonnet gets with returning 1,000-yards rusher Kenneth Walker III in the backfield. "Zach does everything well...He's just a complete ball player." Walker will be the team's primary early-down runner, but Charbonnet could carve out a nice role as the pass-catching back in his first NFL season, making him a decent RB4/flex target in the late rounds in PPR fantasy formats. The fact that Seattle took the 22-year-old 52nd overall in the second round of this year's draft should tell us that he could play meaningful snaps right away.
Seattle Seahawks rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon, the fifth overall pick of this year's NFL draft, was highly touted for his work at Illinois on the outside. But Witherspoon often worked on the inside at slot cornerback during the team's three-day mandatory minicamp this week. "He's capable of playing in there," head coach Pete Carroll said. The injury to last year's nickel defensive back Coby Bryant (foot) has allowed Seattle to give Witherspoon a try on the inside. While the 22-year-old can certainly play on the inside, he'll likely spend most of his time on the outside. But Witherspoon's athleticism will allow the Seahawks to get creative and move him around as they see fit to get the matchups they like against opposing wide receivers.
Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy said he won't make quarterback Justin Fields robotic as a pocket passer. The Bears are obviously focused on improving Fields as a passer in 2023, but they aren't interested in limiting his rushing abilities after he led all QBs with 1,143 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games last year. Fantasy managers may not want to expect gaudy rushing totals like that moving forward, but scrambling and improvising should continue to be part of the 24-year-old's game, which is excellent news for his rising fantasy stock as a midrange QB1 with upside for more. If Fields masters Chicago's offense and improves as a passer with added aerial weapons, he could finish the 2023 season as a high-end QB1.
Former Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is set to visit with the New England Patriots next week, according to sources. Hopkins also has a visit scheduled with the Tennessee Titans, so his free-agent market is heating up. The Cleveland Browns are another team that is rumored to be courting Hopkins. The Patriots could add a top pass-catcher for quarterback Mac Jones, who took a step back in his sophomore season in 2022. New England added JuJu Smith-Schuster in free agency this offseason, but Hopkins would immediately become the Patriots' No. 1 receiver if they were able to add him. The 31-year-old isn't quite in his prime anymore, but he was productive when active last year and would be a target hog in New England. Even without a home, Hopkins is a top-25 fantasy receiver.