The opening of the NFL’s free agency negotiating period on Monday, March 13 was a busy day for the Buffalo Bills. While they lost linebacker Tremaine Edmunds to the Bears, signed former Cowboys guard Connor McGovern to a $22.35 million deal, and restructured several contracts amid the flurry of moves, they have yet to make a move for a wide receiver.
The Bills are on the hunt to find a reliable playmaker to backup Stefon Diggs and fans reached out to Buffalo’s former second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, running back James Cook, about the rumors swirling about his brother, Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, possibly joining him in Orchard Park.
On Monday, a Vikings fan account shared the unfounded rumor that stated, “An AFC team is closing in on a deal to acquire Minnesota Viking’s running back Dalvin Cook. A deal could be in place very soon” to which one man retweeted and tagged the younger Cook. He wrote, “@thegreat__4 get your brother @dalvincook to the @BuffaloBills.” The 23-year-old running back retweeted the fan’s message and stirred the pot by writing a short, simple message, “👀 @dalvincook @BuffaloBills.”
Cook’s tweet quickly went viral. While rumors swirled this offseason about Diggs’ little brother, Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs trying to get the Bills’ No. 1 wide receiver to join him in Dallas, this is the first time Cook has responded to rumors about his brother joining the Bills.
The Draft Network‘s James Eisner tweeted on Monday afternoon that the Bills are tied for the second-best odds to land Cook (+400), according to BetOnline.ag, while the Miami Dolphins have the best odds (+300).
Bleacher Report‘s Joseph Zucker wrote, “That Cook could nonetheless be on his way out partially reflects Minnesota’s salary-cap crunch. Even with the departures of [Adam] Thielen and [Eric] Kendricks, the Vikings are $6.6 million over the cap for 2023, per Spotrac.”
If Minnesota is going to trade their former second-round pick from the 2017 NFL Draft, it will likely happen after June 1, which would clear $11 million in cap space with just $3.1 million in dead money for 2023 and 2024, Zucker pointed out. “Trading Cook before June 1 would put $6.2 million in dead money on the books but save almost $7.9 million.”
Bills Mafia Loved the Idea of Having Both Cook Brothers on the Same Team
If was up to a fan vote, Cook and Cook together on the same team would be a done deal. Bills Mafia Babes responded, “Don’t play with our hearts that way.😂… Also, think of the savings for your family to only have to attend one game each week! It’s a win-win,” while one man tweeted, “Ok we got something special brewing 👀👀.”
One fan tweeted, “MAKE IT HAPPEN, JAMES,” while another person wrote, “This would be entirely too fun.”
Of course, the Bills would face heavy competition to land Cook, as the four-time Pro Bowler continues to perform at a high level. During the 2022 NFL season, he rushed for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns along with 39 receptions for 295 yards, and two receiving touchdowns.
Before the Vikings faced the Bills in Week 10, Dalvin Cook admitted to having mixed emotions about playing against his little brother. “Yeah, it’s different, Dalvin said. “I never had the opportunity to be in this predicament. But one of the best to be in. It’s a fun time for my family. But it’s something that I will remember forever. Just taking it all in — a lot of emotions Sunday.”
“It’s definitely going to be fun,” Dalvin added. “It’s just funny how things work out. We made it to the stages of our career that we aimed for when were younger. So, we’ve just got to take advantage of it.”
The Vikings are ‘Open for Business’ When It Comes to Trading Cook
While it’s unclear which teams have made an offer for the elder Cook, ESPN‘s Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler confirmed on Sunday, March 12 that the “Vikings are open for business” when it comes to putting the 27-year-old on the trade block.
“They’ve released three veteran players thus far — including legacy player Adam Thielen — and multiple teams believe Minnesota has had trade talks centered around running back Dalvin Cook,” Fowler and Graziano wrote. “The team is attempting to re-sign Cook’s backup, Alexander Mattison, who is poised for a starter’s role somewhere.”
Zucker noted on March 12, “The Vikings might have to act somewhat quickly in regard to Cook, though. The longer Minnesota waits, the more Mattison could consider his options elsewhere, especially if he can be assured of a starting role.”