The agent of Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook has denied suggestions he will report to training camp on time, contradicting the team’s head coach Mike Zimmer.
Zimmer, who has just signed a three-year extension as Vikings coach, explained during a virtual press conference on Saturday that Cook told him personally that he would be ready for camp.
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But those assurances, that the 24-year-old would report with other veteran players on Tuesday, have been called into question by Cook’s agent Zac Hiller.
“First, congrats to coach Zimmer on his well-earned extension,” Hiller told ESPN‘s Adam Schefter.
“However, Dalvin has not spoken to him in regards to reporting to camp. We are unsure why this was said. I hope Dalvin can continue to play a major role in the Vikings’ future success.”
Reports last month said Cook, who turns 25 in August, would consider holding out if not given a contract extension.
He is entering the final year of his contract but, under the new collective bargaining agreement, if Cook does not report on time he would lose an accrued season, which would make him a restricted free agent instead of an unrestricted free agent next spring.
Cook is reportedly seeking a new contract of around $13m, after initially asking for nearly $16m. The team reportedly made an initial offer of less than $10m per year.
Among NFL running backs, only Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliott, Le’Veon Bell, David Johnson and Derrick Henry average more than $8m on multi-year deals.
Only one other (Melvin Gordon) averages more than $6.125m on a non-rookie, multi-year deal.
Cook played a career-high 14 games last season, rushing for 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns.
He also had 53 receptions out of the backfield while earning Pro Bowl honours, missing the final two games of the regular season with a shoulder injury.
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