How much of a difference can a 1000+ yard rusher make in an NFL offense? Many would say that a running back of that caliber can make a significant difference. But how much of a difference can a 1000+ yard rusher make in the LA Rams offense? Sadly, the answer to that question has not been known since star RB Todd Gurley II accomplished that feat in the 2018 NFL season.
And the Rams have won a Super Bowl since.
So it was mildly surprising that the LA Rams pursued a running back amidst the disappointment of the 2022 NFL season. Their target? He was a Carolina Panther running back named Christian McCaffrey who eventually was traded to the LA Rams rival, the San Francisco 49ers.
What's Cookin' in the NFL?
Now, another solid running back is on the market. Minnesota Vikings released their star running back Dalvin Cook, who is now open to playing for the team with the highest bid for his services. Unfortunately, he has already set the opening bid, not an affordable $5 million for the 2023 NFL season, but in the neighborhood of the $10.4 million that he was due to make with the Vikings.
Curiously, Cook can sit out and still take home $2 million. So the hard number that teams would be responsible for is an additional $8.4 million (pending offset language in the Vikings contract). We explored how Dalvin Cook could impact each NFC West Division team, as well as featured how the ex-Vikings running back could fit on the LA Rams offense this season.
But, to be fair, a price tag of upwards of $8 million will price him out of the Rams reach and off their radar screen. So who are the teams who are frontrunners for Dalvin Cook right now?
As of now, NFL on ESPN's NFL Insider Jeff Darlington projects Cook as likely landing on the Miami Dolphins roster, with the Denver Broncos as the runner up. As both teams compete in the AFC, his arrival should have a minimal impact on the LA Rams 2023 NFL season.
Will Dalvin Cook be the one who got away? I think not, as the Rams decision to reset the roster in 2023 has far too many questions pending to give any confidence to commit to a star running back. I could be proven to be wrong, but I think that Dalvin Cook priced himself outside of the LA Rams comfort zone. And as a result, the Rams will stay comfortably on course with their 2023 strategy on this occasion.