There will be no franchise tag, only a franchise running back getting a huge payday.
On the eve of the season's first Sunday, Dalvin Cook has the new deal he's sought.
The Pro Bowl running back and the Minnesota Vikings have agreed to a five-year, $63 million extension, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday. The deal will see Cook get $28 million guaranteed. Along with that, Cook received a $15.5 million signing bonus, which is the largest for a non-quarterback in Vikings history, Pelissero added. The team later confirmed the signing.
On the heels of his finest and healthiest season yet, Cook was entering the final season of his rookie deal. There was much ado as to him possibly not showing up for training camp, but Cook was there. And now he's headed into the Vikings' 2020 season opener against the NFC North-rival Packers with a far bigger paycheck to cash.
Looking to be rewarded for a phenomenal 2019 campaign and locked up for a promising future in Minnesota, Cook's $12.6 million per-year average salary puts him at sixth among current NFL backs.
A 2017 second-round selection, Cook punched his first Pro Bowl ticket last season as he compiled 1,135 rushing yards, 519 receiving yards and 13 total touchdowns -- all career-highs. Another career high was his 14 regular season games played. Over his first two seasons, Cook had played in just 15 games due to injuries.
The motor in Minnesota's offense last year, Cook is set to be the focal point once more under offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak.
With the recent trend of teams staying away from signing running backs to long-term, lucrative deals, the opposite has been trending as Cook and the Saints' Alvin Kamara inked deals Saturday and followed the footsteps of fellow backs Christian McCaffrey of the Panthers and Joe Mixon of the Bengals signing extensions earlier this offseason.
Of course the fear of locking up a back long-term still lingers and is notable with Cook. Despite his breakout 2019 season, he still missed a pair of games with chest/shoulder injuries after he missed 12 games as a rookie (ACL) and five games in 2018 (hamstring).
For now though, it's all smiles for Cook.
There was no holdout or hold-in and there will be no franchise tag. Cook got his extension and the Vikings and their offensive centerpiece now have their eyes straight ahead on the 2020 campaign.