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Dalvin Cook says he's the best back in the game, expects to sign long-term deal with Vikings

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) scores on a 3-yard touchdown run during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) scores on a 3-yard touchdown run during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)(WCTV)
Published: Apr. 9, 2020 at 9:37 PM EDT
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April 9, 2020

Dalvin Cook is set to receive a huge contract extension from the Minnesota Vikings, as the team is expected to sign him to a long-term deal as soon as both sides open contract talks. Once Cook signs his extension, he'll be paid like one of the best running backs in football.

Cook firmly believes he is already the best running back in the game and intends to prove it over the next several seasons.

"The things I do coming out of the backfield, the things I do in between the tackles, I block, I pretty much do it all," Cook said, via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "I don't have to come off the field. I think some guys just don't do as much as I do, and I think that's why I'm today's (top) back."

Cook played 14 games for the Vikings last season, finishing with 250 carries for 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. He also had 53 catches for 519 yards, also a career-high. Cook had five 100-yard games and was durable for the Vikings, finishing with 20-plus carries eight times this season (including Minnesota's postseason victory over the New Orleans Saints).

Cook finished seventh in the NFL in rushing yards per game and fourth in rushing touchdowns. His 1,654 yards from scrimmage were also the seventh-most in the NFL, as 2019 was considered a breakout season for Cook.

Cook is heading into the final year of his rookie deal and he is scheduled to make $2,021,508 in 2020. The negotiations won't appear to be too difficult with the Vikings, a team Cook expects to be with for the next several seasons.

"I definitely love Minnesota," Cook said. "I love everything the state has to bring. Being a kid, (when) I was drafted, so I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I actually am happy where I'm at, and I would like to be in Minnesota long term."

A 2017 second-round pick of the Vikings, Cook played just four games his rookie year and rushed for 354 yards and two touchdowns before being lost for the season with a torn ACL. He returned in time for the start of the 2018 season, but he missed five games with a hamstring strain. Cook finished with 133 carries for 615 yards and two touchdowns while catching 40 passes for 305 yards and two touchdowns. Cook has 2,104 yards and 17 touchdowns in three seasons, averaging 4.6 yards per carry.

The Vikings won't wait and see if Cook will have a strong 2020 season before deciding to pay him. Both sides appear to have the same goal in mind -- get the contract extension done and move forward.

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