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Vikings reward Dalvin Cook with five-year deal, $28 million in guarantees

NFL: NFC Wild Card-Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints
Jan 5, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) runs the ball against the New Orleans Saints during the second quarter of a NFC Wild Card playoff football game. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook -USA TODAY Sports

Dalvin Cook won’t face the Packers in the Vikings’ Week 1 opener on Sunday playing on the last season of his contract after all. The Vikings and their star running back agreed to a five-year, $63 million extension on Saturday that will include $28 million in guarantees, according to NFL Media. The Vikings announced the deal early Saturday afternoon but provided no contract details.

Cook, who average salary will be $12.6 million per season, will get a $15.5 million signing bonus. As Tom Pelissero points out below, that is the largest signing bonus for a non-quarterback in franchise history. Cook had been set to enter the last season of his rookie deal after talks broke down between Cook’s agent and the Vikings last month.

Cook’s annual average salary of $12.6 million per season would put him fifth among NFL running backs, according to Over The Cap. Entering Saturday, the Top 5 paid running backs in the league were Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey at $16.015 million; Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott at $15 million; the Jets’ LeVeon Bell at $13.125 million; Houston’s David Johnson at $13 million; and Tennessee’s Derrick Henry at $12.5 million.
The Vikings had to get creative to make Cook’s contract work. Linebacker Eric Kendricks had $6 million of his base salary shifted to a signing bonus to help spread out the cost, according to ESPN.

Cook’s new contract comes on the same day the New Orleans Saints rewarded running back Alvin Kamara.